Thursday, 17 March 2011

Matisse in Nice

Tempête à Nice (1919)

Cimiez, in the north of Nice, is the home to the Matisse Museum, a grand looking building which houses many of the artist's greatest works.

Matisse Museum

Matisse moved to Nice in 1917 at the age of 48, to recover from bronchitis. He took a room at the elegant Hôtel Beau Rivage on Rue Saint-François-de-Paule, and rented a flat to use as a studio at 105 Quai des États-Unis . He remained in Nice until his death in 1954.

The museum is located at 164 avenue des Arenes de Cimiez, and to get there I took the number 17 bus which followed the Boulevard de Cimiez with its fine Belle Époque buildings. The museum itself is in a red-ochre, Genoese-style villa decorated in trompe-l’œil, in a small park with centuries-old olive trees, carobs, cypresses and parasol pines. The villa itself is from the XVII century.

The entrance charge was 4 euros, but the lady at the desk had no change, so she let everyone in free and asked if we would pay on our way out.

Fleurs et fruits (1953)

The villa and its new wing are home to 68 paintings, 236 drawings, 218 engravings, 57 sculptures, 14 illustrated books, as well as 95 photographs and 187 objects from the artist’s own collection. One of the most famous paintings, Fleurs et fruits, measuring 4.10 x 8.70 metres (13'-6" x 28'-6"), is in the atrium as you go in.

Also in the museum are Portrait de Madame Matisse from 1905; Tempete à Nice (1919); Nu au fauteuil plante verte (1936-37); Nature morte aux grenades (1847); and many, many more.

A visit to Nice is incomplete without a visit to Cimiez and to this wonderful museum. To get there on public transport take bus lines 15, 17, 20, 22, 25, and get off at stops Les Arènes or Cimiez Monastère. Transport operator website 

And yes, I did pay my 4 euros before leaving!

Interieur à Nice

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