The collection of works gathered at the Matisse Museum in Nice belongs to the largest in the world. There are also items of everyday use that once belonged to Henri Matisse.

Opened in 1963 in Nice, the Matisse Museum contains one of the world’s largest collections of works by Henri Matisse, a French artist of world renown. It is located in the 17th century Villa des Arènes, formerly known as the Palais de Gubernatis (from the first owner). At the beginning, the museum shared place with the Archaeological Museum, which is now next door, in its own building.

Who was Henri Matisse?

Henri Matisse lived in the years 1869 – 1954. He is considered the most outstanding representative of Fauvism, but before he came to this direction in painting, he created in different styles. His friend and competitor was Pablo Picasso. From 1917 until his death Matisse lived in Nice, with a 5-year break, when he lived in nearby Vence. He created, among others in the studio located in the Yellow House in the Old Town of Nice.

Henri Matisse died of a heart attack in his apartment in Nice. He is buried with his wife in a cemetery in the Cimiez district, near the Matisse Museum.

People who are particularly interested in the works of Matisse and his stay on the French Riviera, I refer to a comprehensive publication in English available on the site (the link directs to a large PDF file).

What to see at the Matisse Museum in Nice?

The Matisse Museum in Nice perfectly documents the various stages of the artist’s development. Several dozen paintings, hundreds of drawings, prints, photographs and sculptures, mostly made of bronze by Matisse himself, as well as books illustrated by the artist and numerous cut-outs, have been gathered here. In addition, the museum also houses everyday objects belonging to Matisse.

A separate room is occupied by the exposition concerning the Chapel of the Rosary (Chapelle du Rosaire) located in Vence and designed by Matisse. The museum has, among others spatial design of the object and projects of individual works constituting the chapel’s equipment. The artist made this interior in thanks for taking care of him during convalescence after the oncological surgery.

Most of the exhibits come from donors, including Matisse himself and his family.

Practical information

You can find the Matisse Museum in the Cimiez district of Nice, which is worth visiting. You can get there from the city center by bus number 15 for €1,50. It’s worth to book about an hour to visit the museum. The admission ticket costs €10, but you can also buy a ticket for €20, which entitles you to visit other museums in Nice within 7 days.

The museum is open from Wednesday to Monday, from 10AM to 6PM from 23 June to 15 October and from 11AM to 6PM in other months.