Perched on the heights of the city, the museum Matisse is located in the immediate vicinity of the arena of Cimiez and a garden of olive trees of the same name. A few words and pictures to discover the museum dedicated to the artist who lived in Nice until his death.
Matisse and Nice
Matisse lived for many years in Nice while traveling all over the planet as well to paint as to promote his work. He made his first trip to Nice in December 1917. Attracted by the south and its particular lights, the painter lived before in Corsica in Ajaccio, Toulouse and even on the other side of the big blue in Algiers. The first month he spent in Nice was rainy, forcing him to stay almost locked up in his hotel on the Promenade des Anglais. He painted "The Storm in Nice", visible in the museum, representing the greyish sea and the palms disheveled by the wind surely in memory of this first stay.
The painter frequented many places in Nice (Cimiez in the Regina, near the museum, the end of Cours Saleya place Charles Felix, rue Désiré Niel, Vence etc ... We recommend you to read a little book very interesting s titled "Matisse in Nice 1917-1954" (see info below) to know everything, or almost, the presence of the painter in the capital of the Riviera.
The author quotes Matisse who explains his choice to settle in Nice: "What fixed me are the great color of January, the brightness of the day." "Nice ... why Nice? In my art I tried to create a crystalline environment for the mind: this necessary clarity, I found in Nice. "In reality it's admirable. Everything becomes clear, crystalline, precise, limpid."
A museum presenting the different artistic periods and works of the artist
The painter who is said to be the leader of Fauvism will produce a very diverse work: drawings, paintings, stained glass sculptures. The Matisse Museum of Nice exhibits the artist's works on the three floors of the building formerly villa of the bullring or Gubernatis palace.
The basement, on two levels in mezzanine, houses some large paintings but also cultures and temporary exhibitions of the museum.
The ground floor and the first floor take the works of the different creative periods of the painter and sculptor. A room, using a large map of the city will allow you to better understand the presence of the artist in the Riviera. We may regret the absence of some large paintings, which have made the reputation of the painter. The diversity of the works allows to have a rather complete look on the work of the artist. Note that the collection of present works comes from the workshops of the artist and his heirs.
- Musée Matisse à Nice
164 Avenue des Arènes de Cimiez
Tél : (+33) (0)4 93 81 08 08 (public)
Tél : (+33) (0)4 93 53 40 53 (conservation)
- Museum open every day, except Tuesday, from 10 am to 5 pm from November 1st to April 30th and from 10 am to 6 pm from May 2nd to October 31st. Info for information only, please check the official website.
Rates 10 euros for all museums in Nice for 24 hours or 14 euros for 7 days. Free for the inhabitants of the metropolis Nice Côte d'Azur, under 18, unemployed, beneficiaries of the RSA etc ... Info for information only, please check the official website.
- French book : « Matisse Nice 1917-1954 » by Xavier Girard, Editions Assouline .
- French book : « Henri Matisse Nice et Vence 1917-1954 » by Alex Benvenuto Serre Editeur. Book very well documented and pleasantly illustrated. To discover.