With its position on the Mediterranean, Collioure has been a highly desired location. It has been occupied by Roman and Greek Sea Merchants and sailors

Kitchen is inside the bus

and they left a very rich legacy.King Wamba of the Visigoths occupied Collioure in 673. He named the village Caucoliberis and the town was established as major trading port.

This idyllic town perched on the rocky coastline. Its colorful houses seem to rise up out of the sea. This tranquil Catalan harbor with its sheltered bay is where the Pyrenees bows to The Mediterranean. My first visit to Collioure was in November and it was not too cold for a relaxing swim.

Art de vivre has its origins in this Catalan village. The artist Matisse brought his family to Collioure for summers and was quite prolific. He was later joined by André Derain with whom he founded the Fauvist Movement. The artists following this school were often referred to as “la cage aux fauves” or the wild beasts. There works wild with vibrant colors and brushstrokes like Collioure itself. Between the two the produced a formidable amount of work with over 240 drawings, paintings and sculptures in Collioure and its surrounding area.

When you visit Collioure you can discover some of their works by following a trail that winds itself through the village, with replicas at 20 sites where these Fauvist works were first painted or drawn. For maps, information & tours visit Espace Fauve, Quai de l’Amiraute, when in Collioure.

Collioure was also a favorite place to work for Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet and many others. As you might imagine you will see many artists at work on your visit and often they will have something you might purchase to take home with you.

Life is all too short. Visit Collioure and discover its magical powers to inspire!




11 thoughts on “Collioure

  1. I did not realize this was the ‘founding’ place of the Fauvist artists. No wonder, with its beauty and location. Matisse’s grandson lives here in my New England town. I taught his children many years ago, and his ex-wife told me about their trips back to France. One of my favorite children’s books is “Henri’s Scissors”. Thanks for giving your readers a look at this beautiful place, Lea.

    1. Jennie, how interesting to know some of Matisse’s family. Perhaps an artist or two among them? I’m not familiar with that particular children’s book so perhaps I shall have to track it down. Have you seen The Kittens Who Danced For Degas? I bought a copy several years ago in a museum gift shop for a friend who had just adopted a baby girl from China.

      1. The book looks delightful. Thank you, Lea. I do know that the grandson, in his 80’s, does mobiles and invented the kalliroscope. He is well known for his public art installations, many are interactive with bells and chimes.

      2. A dear friend back in Sacramento is an artist and has done art installations both nationally and internationally. She will enjoy hearing about this… Thank you for sharing it.

      3. Then no doubt she is familiar with him but I shall let her know anyway as I know how she would enjoy the information.

  2. Absolutely. The bus inside the restaurant is the kitchen. Is it any wonder that it has inspired artists for a very long time.

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