Saint Martin de Fenollar

The chapel of Saint Martin de Fenollar contains a number of Roman frescoes. It is situated not far from Le Boulou, close to the Roman road named Via Domitia. First impressions are of an unprepossessing building dating from pre-Roman times but a visit to the interior reveals a number of beautiful 12th century frescoes. These represent the story of the Incarnation (the Annunciation, the Nativity, the Angels telling the Shepherds, the Adoration of the Magi) while above is depicted the Glory of the Lord, inspired by the Apocalypse: Christ, with the four figures of the Tetramorphus, being worshipped by twenty-four aged persons.

Said to be the most important fresco of this type in the Roussillon, the style differs from the Italian-Byzantine, such as those of Taül in Southern Catalonia, more approaching that of the works seen in the Aquitaine and the Languedoc.

The use of a limited palette of colours combined with a strong expressionist style is said to have had an influence on artists such as Picasso and Braques in 1910.