Taking in the life’s work of a true artist is impossible to do in a day, but I certainly appreciated the opportunity to do so in Nice! Henri Matisse is one of France’s most prolific visual artists, working in most mediums on the spectrum, including clothing, oil painting and sculpture.
You know a hardcore artist by the range of their creations, how their styles and materials evolve along with them, throughout their lives, not just as products, but as manifestations of a calling within. It’s rare, and deeply personal, so of course, I felt honored to be checking out so many of Matisse’s works in one place. About halfway through the visit, I noticed how jazz music and visits to China and Tahiti were so influential in the development of his expression – I was delighted.
It’s interesting how we experience art – so many nuances come into play, from historical context to color harmony, from the actual size of the object to political messages interwoven into the piece. Today I realized if I’m able to feel connected to the artist in some way, through a shared love for a kind of music, for example, it enhances my appreciation, it allows for more experience. Sharing art with a good friend is also such a special phenomenon, hearing their thoughts, discoveries and ponderings.
If you’re in Nice, the Musee Matisse de Nice is a must-see spot, and tickets will also grant you entrance to six other museums in the city. Get there early to avoid the crowds and be warned: no pictures. Or the skulking security guards just might sneak up from behind and admonish you in an unnecessarily loud manner!