Musée Matisse

Discover the work of Henri Matisse with a visit to the Musée Matisse in Nice. At this national museum, you’ll see a huge body of work by the world renowned artist, from his early paintings and drawings through to the final works before his death.

You’ll find the museum in the leafy Cimiez neighbourhood, housed in a 17th century villa. Opened in 1963 and expanded thirty years later, you can browse the permanent collection, with many works donated by Matisse himself, and explore the temporary exhibits in the modern basement.

As you walk through the rooms, you’ll see paintings, book illustrations, drawings, prints and sculptures by Matisse, alongside some of his personal possessions including ceramics, tapestries and documents. Look out for collections of his famous paper cut outs, which he found a passion for after life-prolonging surgery for cancer.

Having lived in Nice from 1917 until his death in 1954, you can visit Matisse’s burial place in the cemetery in the beautiful park opposite the museum. Then, take the short walk to the Franciscan monastery to explore the gardens, or go to see the Hotel Regina where Matisse once lived.

Before visiting the Musée Matisse, it’s worth checking the official website to see if any artwork is out on loan, especially if you are hoping to see a specific piece of work. Visits are free, so it’s a great place to visit for an hour or two, but bear in mind there’s not a café onsite.