The permanent collection

Historique
The paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings, paper cut-outs and illustrated books, as well as objects and documents bequeathed by Matisse and his heirs and loaned from the State, make up a collection which is both personal (relating to those works and possessions from which Matisse was never separated) and educational (representing all the periods and range of mediums in his career as a painter).

The founding donations

The first gift was made by Matisse himself on October 21st 1953. It consisted of the painting Nature morte aux grenades of 1947, four drawings from the 1941-42 series Thèmes et Variations, the paper cut-out La danseuse créole dated 1950, and two silk screen prints of 1947 entitled Océanie la mer and Océanie le ciel. The second bequest was received from Madame Henri Matisse on August 4th 1960 - 20 paintings, one paper cut-out; five sculptures, 80 drawings and 109 objects from Matisse's appartment-studio at the Hôtel Regina.

That same year on the 30th September the artist's heirs donated three paintings, 2 sculptures, 121 drawings, three ceramics, nine engravings, nine illustrated books and more of Matisse's possessions. On the 28th October 1963, Matisse's children added to this gift six paintings, two paper cut-outs, 132 engravings, seven illustrated books as well as several items that had belonged to their father.

These four donations made up the original collection to which further gifts and bequests were made after the death of Matisse. In 1978, Jean Matisse made a gift to the State of a major oil painting entitled La Nymphe dans le forêt (or La Verdure ) of 1935-43, two paper cut-outs both of 1952 : the Nu Bleu and the Baigneuse dans le roseaux, three large drawings, a tapestry, and 50 sculptures with the intention that they be put under the charge of the Museum.

In 1987, two very large drawings were presented to the Museum by the State. These were a preliminary charcoal drawing of Saint Dominique for the Chapel at Vence, given by Pierre Matisse, which had been drawn directly onto the wall of the Hôtel Règina apartment, and then carefully removed and transferred onto a canvas backing, and a drawing of the central figure in the Barnes Foundation Dance, donated by Gérard Matisse. In 1992, the State accepted four works from Pierre Matisse's collection in lieu of death duties. These were a paper cut-out entitled Femme à l'amphore of 1953, a sketch for the door of the confessional in the Vence.

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