Hero of the Week: August 29, 2022: François Bernadi (1922-2022)

François Louis Adrien Bernadi (1922 – 2022)

Our Hero this week is an artist admired by Catherine, a man who had the gift of living—and also painting—life in its full vibrance, color, charm, and unnoticed dignity.

François Bernadi was a painter and writer from the fisherman’s town of Collioure along the Côte Vermeille in the very south of France. For centuries, the people of Collioure have been fishermen and winemakers (Banyuls and Collioure are counted among the best wines of the region of Roussillon), and it is their hard-working lives irradiated by the Mediterranean sun of southern France and their small joys and village festivals that this unique and quiet painter captured.

Catherine was introduced to Bernadi by Vanessa Biard-Schaeffer, host of Solari’s Via Europa Series, when Catherine visited Collioure.

Bernadi’s paintings are filled with the aura and warmth of the region, the happiness, and innocence, as well as the dangers and hardships that the activities of the fishermen and seamen would bring.

He began to learn the art of painting under Augustin Hanicotte, a painter who had settled in Collioure and who took the children of the village to free drawing classes after school. Among these, Julien Py and François Bernadi would emerge as famous local artists. Many of his works of art appear as frescoes and religious decorations on the walls of the churches of the Lauragais region (southeast of Toulouse).

Bernardi also worked as an author and wrote a number of short stories. The publication of his first book Rue du Soleil was helped by famous French author Albert Camus, one story of which even ended up being translated and published in English.

François Bernadi lived for 100 years, his eyes and his heart filled with the gentle beauty of the simple life.


François Bernadi on Wikipedia

Fisherman Artist: François Bernadi

Le peintre et poète colliourenc François Bernadi s’en est allé