The Musée Matisse, opened in 1963, houses 600 Matisse’s artworks and 130 objects - donated to the City of Nice by the artist and his heirs - in a Genoese villa. The museum is part of the vast heritage complex of Cimiez, which includes the remains of Roman amphitheatre and thermae, a garden planted with centuries-old olive trees, and the Cimiez Monastery.

The Musée Matisse, opened in 1963, houses 600 Matisse’s artworks and 130 objects - donated to the City of Nice by the artist and his heirs - in a Genoese villa. The museum is part of the vast heritage complex of Cimiez, which includes the remains of Roman amphitheatre and thermae, a garden planted with centuries-old olive trees, and the Cimiez Monastery.

Programme

Agnès Thurnauer, Nuit, 2011, acrylique et ruban adhésif sur toile, 160 x 158 cm Courtesy de l’artiste et de Michel Rein, Paris/Brussels © Adagp, Paris, 2022
Agnès Thurnauer, Nuit, 2011, acrylique et ruban adhésif sur toile, 160 x 158 cm Courtesy de l’artiste et de Michel Rein, Paris/Brussels © Adagp, Paris, 2022
Agnès Thurnauer, Prédelle (preface), 2021, acrylique sur toile, 55 x 33 cm (x2) Courtesy de l’artiste et de Michel Rein, Paris/Brussels © Adagp, Paris, 2022
Agnès Thurnauer, Prédelle (preface), 2021, acrylique sur toile, 55 x 33 cm (x2) Courtesy de l’artiste et de Michel Rein, Paris/Brussels © Adagp, Paris, 2022
Agnès Thurnauer, Prédelle (sexe), 2021, acrylique sur toile, 55 x 33 cm (x2) Courtesy de l’artiste et de Michel Rein, Paris/Brussels © Adagp, Paris, 2022
Agnès Thurnauer, Prédelle (sexe), 2021, acrylique sur toile, 55 x 33 cm (x2) Courtesy de l’artiste et de Michel Rein, Paris/Brussels © Adagp, Paris, 2022

See you at yours, Agnès Thurnauer

In this exhibition, Agnès Thurnauer wishes to explore the link which Henri Matisse never stopped working on between illustration and painting, the book and the canvas. Writing every day, Agnès Thurnauer is a great reader, and her paintings often proceed from books. This attachment resonates with Matisse’s work and his conception of the book as an architectural space that challenges the hierarchies and compartmentalisation of artistic genres.

The fifty letters the artist wrote to Matisse beween April 2021 and January 2022, after her first visit to the museum, form the common thread running through the exhibition. In Agnès Thurnauer’s work, the relationship between writing and painting, language and forms, often leads to a dialogue between the horizontal plane and the vertical plane. Echoing these letters, a long line of Prédelles (predella), as if the pages of the letters had been hung on picture rails. Likewise, her Matrices/Assises – sculptures based on moulds used to create three-dimensional letters of the alphabet – displayed in front of Matisse’s monumental cut-out Fleurs et fruits, sometimes seem as if they had exited the artist’s paintings to invite us to take a pictorial stroll in space.

The next section of the exhibition sparks a dialogue between a selection of works by Agnès Thurnauer and the permanent collection, showing how they fit in the Matissian world. Special emphasis is placed on Matisse’s illustrated books, a part of his work which is still largely unknown.

Access

Musée Matisse
164, avenue des Arènes de Cimiez
06000 Nice
+33 (0)4 93 81 08 08
musee-matisse-nice.org

Museum open daily except on Tuesdays:
From 10 am to 5 pm from November 1st to April 30th
From 10 am to 6 pm from May 2nd to October 31st

Ticket office closes 30 minutes before.

Closed on January 1st, Easter Sunday, May 1st and December 25th.

Locate other art venues in the vicinity on the map.

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PLACES TO DISCOVER

Le musée d'archéologie de Nice/Cimiez : next to the Matisse museum and located on the archeological site of the Roman city of Cemenelum, where the remains are displayed.
• The monastery of Cimiez and its garden : don't hesitate to visit the Franciscan monastery, classified as a historical monument, to admire the works of the Nice primitive Louis Bréa. The garden, formerly the monks' orchard and vegetable garden, is now a bucolic setting where climbing roses bloom on ancient pergolas. A small terrace, adorned with a fountain and ponds, opens below and offers an exceptional view of the Paillon valley and, further on, the sea.
• The Cimiez cemetery: a short detour to the cemetery located behind the monastery will allow you to see the tomb of Henri Matisse, but also those of other painters like Raoul Dufy.
• The Cimiez district: take advantage of your visit to Cimiez to stroll through the streets around the museum. This residential area of Nice, part of the UNESCO World Heritage site, is of great architectural interest. It is home to luxurious Belle Époque residences, such as former palaces (e.g. the Régina, where Matisse's last studio was located) that have been converted into homes, or princely palaces of Moorish inspiration (the Alhambra).
La chapelle du Rosaire à Vence: located 30 minutes by car from the museum, this total work of art entirely conceived by Henri Matisse is a must-see.

PLACES TO STAY

L'hôtel Beau Rivage : it is in this hotel located on the Promenade des Anglais that Henri Matisse stayed the first time he came to Nice, at the end of December 1917.

PLACES TO EAT

There are few offers in the Cimiez district. The easiest way is to go back down to the city center (direct with buses n°5 and n°33) and, why not, sit down at the terrace of one of the restaurants of the Cours Saleya, where Matisse used to come for lunch when he lived in the Caïs de Pierlas palace, located on the Place Charles-Félix.

PLACES TO DRINK

A refreshment stand is located in the garden of the Arena, in the shade of the olive trees.