Before the Ice: the first inhabitants of Nice

Before the Ice: the first inhabitants of Nice

If comprehending the span of time in thousands or tens of thousands of years is hard, how much more difficult is it to imagine human existence that spans hundreds of thousands of years?  Writing yesterday’s post about Steven Mithen’s book After the Ice: A Global Human History 20,000 – 5,000 BC reminded me of a chance discovery we made during our trip to Nice last September.

We had climbed to the top of Castle Hill in the warm morning sunshine and stood for a moment, looking out across the port where a flotilla of sailboats were heading out of the harbour on the last day of the Nice regatta.  We noticed an information board that told a little of the history of the site and suggested a visit to the Terra Amata Museum of Prehistory, situated in the port below. Continue reading “Before the Ice: the first inhabitants of Nice”

The Chagall Museum in Nice: a dream of all humanity

The Chagall Museum in Nice: a dream of all humanity

The Chagall The Matisse Museum isn’t the only space dedicated to a great artist on the leafy hill of Cimiez overlooking the city of Nice.  In 1973 the Chagall Museum was inaugurated, funded by the French state and designed partly by the artist himself.  It now hosts the biggest collection of Chagall’s work anywhere in the world.  We made our second visit to the gallery during our recent trip to Nice.

We arrived as the museum celebrates its 40th Anniversary with a special exhibition of Chagall’s self-portraits called Chagall in Front of the Mirror with over 100 paintings and drawings assembled to explore how his self portraits reflected Chagall’s personal life and struggles, and the times he lived through. Continue reading “The Chagall Museum in Nice: a dream of all humanity”

A summer of Matisse: the colour of music

A summer of Matisse: the colour of music

Music and colour may appear to have nothing in common, but they follow parallel paths.  Seven notes, with slight modifications, suffice to write any score.  Why is it not the same for the visual arts?
– Matisse

Our recent short break in Nice coincided with the final days of a city-wide tribute to Matisse – Un Ete Pour Matisse – that consisted of eight exhibitions celebrating his work and legacy presented in museums across the city.  I wrote in my last post about two of the three shows we managed to see; this post is about the third – Matisse: The Music at Work at the Matisse Museum (which was also celebrating its 50th anniversary). Continue reading “A summer of Matisse: the colour of music”

A summer of Matisse: Palm trees, palms, and the rhythms of jazz

A summer of Matisse: Palm trees, palms, and the rhythms of jazz

When we landed in Nice for a long weekend, a city-wide tribute to Matisse – Un Ete Pour Matisse – was just drawing to a close.  Comprising eight (yes, eight!) exhibitions celebrating his work and legacy, we managed in the short time we were there to see just three. Continue reading “A summer of Matisse: Palm trees, palms, and the rhythms of jazz”

Matisse in Nice: through an open window

Matisse in Nice: through an open window

 

We arrived in Nice for a long weekend to celebrate my birthday just as a summer-long tribute to Matisse was drawing to a close.  Nice 2013: A Summer for Matisse brought together many of the city museums to celebrate the artist who chose to live in Nice for more than thirty years.  2013 also marked the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Musee Matisse in Nice. Continue reading “Matisse in Nice: through an open window”

A new state pensioner’s salade Nicoise

A new state pensioner’s salade Nicoise

 

For my 65th birthday we flew to Nice for a long weekend.  Quite possibly, it’s my favourite city, relaxed and unpretentious, its face turned south to the Mediterranean and the broad sweep of the gorgeous Bay of Angels; a city with a beach and a promenade enlivened every hour of the day by a parade of strollers, rollerbladers, joggers, cyclists and bathers. Continue reading “A new state pensioner’s salade Nicoise”

A visit to the Matisse Museum in Nice

The Matisse Museum, which we visited this morning,  is situated on the hill of Cimiez, and we reached it by walking through the gardens of the Franciscan monastery and the park with Roman ruins. Nearby is the Hotel Regina where Matisse lived for a time. The Museum has been open since 1963 and houses a collection of works left by the artist to the city of Nice where he lived from 1918 until 1954. Continue reading “A visit to the Matisse Museum in Nice”