Matisse cutting into color

Situated along the highway between our home in France and our family in Holland, is this lovely museum: the Musée Départemental Matisse. Both my husband and I are big afficionados of the work of Henri Matisse. Many years ago we visited his home in Nice (turned into a wonderful museum) as well as the famous Rosaire chapel in Vence, South of France. But, as Matisse was born in the North of France, we are lucky to be able to pop by the Matisse Museum in Le Cateau-Cambrésis every once in a while.

We went there last week and it was (again) such a breath of fresh air. The current exhibition shows Matisse's paper cut-outs that were not used in his finished works. I love the "perfect" proportions of these shapes in gouached paper and the book covers on show were also really awesome. Seeing Matisse's work always moves me: it has this rare quality and sensitive handwriting that really speaks to me. It's hard to capture it in words or photos: you should really see & feel for yourself :o)

Unfortunately no photography allowed at the exhibition (as opposed to the permanent collection) but these few phone pics will give you a little preview of what's there to see.
So next time you'll drive from Amsterdam to Paris or vice versa, make sure to stop by the Musée Matisse. It's worth it!

Musée Matisse /// Palais Fénelon /// 59360 Le Cateau-Cambrésis /// +33 (0)3 59 73 38 03
Open every day except Tuesday: 10AM – 6PM

12 thoughts on “Matisse cutting into color

  1. Dit museum staat al zo lang op mijn verlanglijstje, ik ben ook enorm fan van zijn werk. Wat heerlijk dat dat bij je 'om de hoek' zit!

    1. Ja echt heerlijk! Op weg van hier naar Nederland kom je er bijna langs. Gewoon een keertje naartoe gaan joh als je op doorreis bent naar elders in Frankrijk (Parijs?) ;o) Ik krijg er altijd zo'n boost van!

  2. What an interesting approach for an exhibition to show the pieces that didn't make it into the final works. I'd love to see it.

  3. I've loved his works since forever, and those paper cut outs are incredible. Have never been there, and will certainly find an excuse to stop by there one of this days!! Thanks for sharing!!

  4. Oh, heavenly!!!! I think Matisse must be the greatest artist ever… I just adore everything about him.

    Of course, I've been to Nice and Vence to see him (well, not him, if you get my meaning:-) but have never been to this museum!

    His cut outs (the end of his life) just sum up everything, don't they. Actually my ever favourite Matisse exhibition was one held in London entitled: Matisse, his art and his Textiles back in 2005. It was magical!

    The accompanying catalogue is one of my favourites:

    1. Hahaha I have to keep myself from buying all the books, Tina ;) There's nothing better than seeing his work in real, isn't it? The cut-outs are from a large period of time (larger than I expected): over 20 years! Even the unused shapes are really good. I also really love his drawings: they are so to the point and endearing :)

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