This single-artist museum follows the artistic development of the painter who lived in Nice from 1917 to his death in 1954. This museum, 2km north of the city center in the leafy Cimiez quarter, houses a fascinating assortment of works by Matisse, including oil paintings, drawings, sculptures, tapestries, and Matisse's famous paper cut-outs.
A Day At Musee Matisse
1. The Collection
One of the best things to do at Musee Matisse is of course to see its collection. The collection is of interest for the overview that it offers, from the first paintings in 1890 to the gouache drawings that Matisse produced at the end of his life, and for its presentation of all the techniques the artist used to express his art. The museum also houses the artist's personal objects, thus offering a more private view of his work. The museum's permanent collection is made up of a variety of donations, primarily those of Matisse himself, who lived and worked in Nice from 1917 to 1954, and those of his heirs, as well as works contributed by the State. The museum houses 68 paintings and gouaches, 236 drawings, 218 prints, 95 photos, 57 sculptures and 14 books illustrated by Matisse, 187 objects that belonged to the painter, and prints, tapestries, ceramics, stained glass and documents.
2. The Regina
As you walk out of the Cimiez gardens, you will see the Regina. This former hotel was built specifically for Queen Victoria's annual vacations in Nice. This is where Matisse lived and had a giant workshop in his last years, and where, after his hands were too crippled to paint, he created many of his giant joyous collages. Don't miss this on your Musee Matisse tour.
3. Other Things To Do At Musee Matisse
The program of the Musee Matisse tour includes temporary exhibitions, seminars, conferences, creative workshops, and music concerts. The building of the museum, which is fully accessible to physically-impaired people, also includes a bookstore. At a short distance from the museum, it is also possible to visit the Marc Chagall Museum and the Archaeological Museum of Nice.
How to Get Tickets?
Musee Matisse tickets and passes can be purchased at the ticket office (it closes at 5.30pm). You can purcahse two different kinds of tickets; for the 24hr individual ticket, you need to pay EUR 10 and for the 7 days individual tickets you need to pay EUR 20. If you are doing Musee Matisse tour with a group of minimum 10 people, you can get Musee Matise tickets for EUR 8 per person. Children under age 18 and students, unemployed persons, disabled civilians and war veterans with one accompanying person each, Museum curators, Journalists, Teachers (Pass Education card), and Tour Guides get free entry to the museum.
How To Get Around?
The museum is in the Cimiez neighborhood about 2 kilometers north of the city center and is located across the street from his former residence, which was also once Queen Victoria's winter palace. Don't skip the museum's garden area, which is surrounded by olive groves. Cimiez is also home to Nice's annual jazz festival and extensive Roman ruins. This area can be explored on foot or on bicycle. A visit to the Matisse Museum combines well with seeing the Marc Chagall National Museum. This museum is 20 minutes walk downhill – or six stops on bus 15 or 22.
What Should I Wear?
There is no fixed dress code to do Musee Matisse tour, just wear comfortable clothes.
Best Time to Visit
You can visit Musee Matisse at any time of the year. The museum opens everyday except on Tuesdays and some public holidays. The museum could get crowded after lunchtime so you better go in the morning or evening before it closes.
Will I Need a Guide?
No, the museum can be explored by yourself. It is easy to do the things to do at Musee Matisse by yourself.
How To Get There?
The museum is in the Cimiez neighborhood about 2 kilometers north of the city center and is located across the street from his former residence, which was also once Queen Victoria's winter palace.
Backpacks, suitcases and travel bags are prohibited in the museum. Visual verification of handbags may be performed by a security officer. The whole museum is accessible to the persons with reduced mobility.