NICE, THE REVELATION
Henri Matisse discovered Nice at the age of 48. He literally fell in love with it. So much, that he remained here until the end of his life.
The painter would first establish himself at the Beau Rivage Hotel on the Promenade des Anglais in 1917. Won over by the locations, he established his workshop not far from there at 105 Quai des États-Unis. One year later, he chose to set up home in the Mediterranean and Côte d’Azur Hotel. The hotel rooms became the inspiration for his paintings, where he arranged his models, who he surrounded with frills: fabrics, flowers, objects, etc.
“A good, old hotel, of course! And what pretty Italian-style ceilings! What tiles! They were wrong to demolish the building. I stayed there for four years for the pleasure of painting nudes and figures in an old rococo lounge. Do you remember the light that you had through the blinds? It came from below like theatre footlights. Everything was false, absurd, marvellous, delicious.”
Henri Matisse in Art News Annual, 1952, reprised in Henri Matisse, Écrits et propos sur l’art, Paris, Hermann, 1971, p. 123