Between 1916 and 1932, Henri Matisse made annual expeditions to the South of France and these excursions embody a defining period in the evolution of the artist’s creative and stylistic development. Inspired by the physical presence of the region, his paintings reveal a debt to Nice’s light, colour and the environs of the artist’s everyday life. ‘Nice is a beautiful place! What a gentle and soft light inspire of its brightness! [...]Here it is silvered! Even the objects that it touches are very coloured, such as the greens for example’ (quoted in Henri Matisse: The Early Years in Nice 1916 – 1930 (exhibition catalogue), National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1986-87, p. 23).
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