In celebration of 50 years of the Musée Matisse, la Ville de Nice has dedicated a summer of eight simultaneous exhibitions to the great artist.

Henri Matisse first visited the Côte d’Azur in 1905, and returned to stay 12 years later, taking up residence in Nice. Here he remained until his death in 1954. La Ville de Nice has decided to pay tribute to the artist on the 50th anniversary of the Musée Matisse, with no less than eight exhibitions running concurrently throughout the city.

With more than 700,000 visitors through the doors of local museums last year, this is an obvious opportunity for the City Fathers to increase these numbers, but also make people more aware of their local cultural outlets. The exhibitions are on in a variety of different museums and galleries, and run from the 21st June through to the 23rd September 2013.

1. Musée Matisse

The exhibition here is entitled ‘Matisse: La Musique à l’Œuvre‘ and explores the intimate relationship between the artist and the practice of music and instruments, which are recurring themes of his work. To mark the 50th anniversary of the museum, Claude and Barbara Duthuit, descendants of Matisse, have donated one of Matisse’s works, ‘La Piscine‘ to the City of Nice. This work, consisting of two panels 2 meters high by 8 wide, will be unveiled to the public on the opening day of the exhibition.

Musée Matisse in Nice celebrates its 50th anniversary this year

2. Archeological Museum in Cimiez

Located beside the Musée Matisse, and adjacent to the ancient Roman site, the Archeological Museum will be home to the exhibition ‘À Propos de Piscines‘, a selection of works by contemporary artists, with a common theme of water. The exhibits come from the field of photography (Lucien Clergue, Marie-Paule Nègro, Catherine Larré), video (Bill Viola, Daniel Larrieu) and film (A Bigger Splash by Jack Hazan with David Hockney).

3. Théâtre de la Photographie et de l’Image – Charles Nègre

The exhibition being held here is courtesy of the Amedeo M. Turello collection, and includes works of the masters of photography who are interested in the beauty and form of the female body (Edward Weston, André Kertész, Willy Ronis, Cindy Sherman). The female nude, always an important part of European art, has found an innovative mode of expression through photography. Entitled ‘Femmes, Muses, et Modèles‘, the exhibition offers a unique dialogue between Matisse’s sculptures and the photographic works of the collection.


The exhibition at MAMAC puts into perspective the iconographic heritage of Matisse in relation to contemporary American and European artists who have chosen to focus on aspects of the works of Matisse, such as Larry Rivers, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Niki de Saint Phalle, and many others.

A Summer of Matisse in Nice

5. Palais Lascaris

The exhibition ‘Matisse: Les années Jazz‘ presents the genesis of Jazz, the “artist’s book” that Matisse produced between 1943 and 1947. By looking at the context of this work, including affinities that Matisse had with jazz, the exhibition introduces the visitor to the heart of the very process of Matisse’s creation. You also have an opportunity to discover the remarkable collection of musical instruments on display in the Palais Lascaris, depicting the musical story of a city where jazz has survived and thrived.

6. Galerie des Ponchettes

Matisse À L’Affiche‘ highlights the relationship that Matisse had with the poster, particularly through the close relationship he had forged with his printer, Fernand Mourlot. Posters will be on display, illustrating the influence of Matisse on contemporary creative advertising.


7. Musée Masséna

The exhibition here entitled ‘Palmiers, Palmes, et Palmettes‘ focuses on the recurring them of the palm tree in the works of Matisse and also of Western art. The exhibition shows the diversity of the palm as a symbol, both in the visual arts and in the decorative industry. 

8. Musée des Beaux Arts

This exhibition, ‘Gustave Moreau, Maître de Matisse‘, designed in conjunction with the Gustave Moreau National Museum, highlights the qualities of Moreau, the painter and teacher, whose atelier Matisse frequented. The exhibition invites you to read the work of Moreau through that of Matisse.

Henri Matisse exhibitions in Nice this summer 2013


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