Nice. Sunny, beautiful, sea, Mediterranean breeze. Even winter days are lovely for a town exploration. I have been to Nice many times, and have visited many of the sites: Modern and Contemporary Art Museum, Villa Arson, Variety Cinema, Les Jardins Albert 1ere, Promenade des Anglais, Negresco, it is all so pretty and lovable. Oh, Socca, lovely flat bread made from chickpea flour.
However, a few days ago, I decided to go to a couple of museums which have been on my list for a while; slightly out of the beaten track, so they needed a special relaxing day to venture out of the town centre.
Matisse Museum (http://www.musee-matisse-nice.org/)
Good value: €10 per visit or €20 for a week pass to 6 museum in Nice town.
Set in a beautiful red painted Genovese building, amongst an olive tree orchard, and roman ruins, Matisse Museum stands in a wonderful neighborhood of 19th century luxury hotels and villas.
A couple of finished, but mostly unfinished paintings which are really lovely to see in person, exploring Matisse's freshness in drawing and his flexibility in changing designs in order to get a good composition. Some lovely sketches that are linked with the Chapelle du Rosaire in Vence (http://www.vence.fr/la-chapelle-du-rosaire-chef-d?lang=fr) and a few of his sculptures. Matisse is one of my old Master heroes, so honest and unpretentious. Virtuous in skills as some of his early paintings show in the first rooms of this museum, however, he did not take much time to loosen up and find his style after a formal education. His work is simply honest, colourful, beautiful, even when clumsy lines are used. He loves what he does and he does not seem to bothered about what other people think. He did everything because he enjoyed it. The large armchair (too fragile to touch in the museum) shows the mixture of Matisse's bohemian personality and his very strict commitment to his artwork which he did from his ill bed until his death.
Best display however, was the design for a swimming pool which was only in the stage of drawing, spread around the walls of Matisse's room in the Hotel Regina in Nice. However, the design has been turned into ceramic tiles and the display is incredible. Simple and beautiful. Made from blue and light brown tiles, what a shame the room was not filled with water.....
Worth a visit, and a day out as I am assuming the olive tree orchard is great for picnics in the summer. The museum does not have the most desirable artworks that I have seen in other Matisse exhibitions, however, the general feel is great. Piece of advice: don't try to take photographs as the museum attendants seem quite adamant that photographs should not been taken, although the museum does not provide any commercial purchase opportunities: cards or books.....Sorry for ingnoring the bad tempered French:):):)