Nice – Museums Times Three

UnknownIts been two days since I returned home from Nice and I’m still nursing sore feet from so much waking!  I decided to cram in as much culture as possible on my last day so I started off by walking through the streets with most of Nice’s antique dealers and galleries.  I then went to see what is now a contender for my favourite museum room of all time, in the beautiful Musee Matisse.  For a start its a seventeenth century trompe l’oeil painted villa set in a park of olive trees and Roman remains.  I knew very little about Matisse before I visited, the only fact I could think of was that he was a Fauvist – so at least I knew his use of bold colours would interest me.  I had no idea he produced so many lithographs and decoupage!  Below – Couverture de la Revue VERVE 1945, lithograph.
VERVEThe dictionary definition of decoupage is ‘the decoration of surfaces with paper cut-outs’.  It was shortly after I took the photo below (Fleurs et fruits 1952-53 decoupage) that I got pounced on by a gallery man telling me I couldn’t take photos which is SUCH A SHAME! As there was a incredible room (the contender in question) with cream walls, huge windows, large A4 Jazz collages in little wooden frames and an amazing free standing display unit snaking around the middle of the room with flip panels of little cut out shapes.  Some were pinned together, others were the usually discarded bits of the cut out and all were slightly wonky.IMG_2822Below is one of the Jazz images he produced in a 1947 book of the same name.
LesCodomasOf all his paintings, I liked the patterns and textures in Still Life with Pomegranates below.
Still Life with PomegrantesI also visited the Musee Chagall.  Chagall is not an artist I particularly like but I did find one little painting, L’Atelier below, that I would hang on my wall.
L'AtelierI really like his stained glass windows too.
Chagall2Another surprise was the Theatre de la Photographie et de L’image, a photography gallery with large permanent collection of vintage/unusual cameras and a temporary exhibition of the photojournalist Marie-Laure de Decker’s work.
ML dDDecker was someone I had never heard of but her photos of Tchad, Vietnam and South Africa in the 1960s and 70s were wonderful.  It’s such a shame I wasn’t allowed to take photos of the old theatre space as all the gilt and decoration were a lovely contrast to the often quite grimy photos.VieBlancheAfter all of that I wandered around Vieux Nice …
VieuxNiceand down to the sea again.  Next time I’m definitely going swimming.

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