Nice is a fantastic holiday destination; from the stretch of glimmering blue sea to the fascinating old street, it is easy to see why this is one of the most popular holiday destinations in France. However, there is so much more to the city than lounging on the beach and wining and dining. Nice is also home to a number of interesting museums and galleries which can educate you on the captivating history that the area has to offer.
France is famed for the plethora of artists that originate from the country, one of which is Henri Matisse. His style is easily recognisable thanks to his use of bright colours and his use of fluidity. In addition to his paintings, Matisse also created a number of impressive statues and prints, many of which can be found housed within the walls of Musée Matisse, an art gallery created specifically to showcase his works of art.
Over the course of his career, he found himself developing and changing his style. Perhaps the biggest alteration in his life was his relocation to Nice during 1917. Subsequently, after his move, his style became more relaxed until 1930, where his declining health caused him to evolve to a new style of painting which included bolder shapes in a more simplistic style.
The museum contains the biggest collection of his artwork and allows you to follow the journey of his career. The building itself has an interesting and long history, dating back to 1970. However, the museum in its current state is a product of a renovation which took place in 1993. There are a plethora of pictures and sculptures that can be found within the gallery, with over 68 paintings alone created by Matisse.
Musée Marc Chagall
Another gallery which includes a curated collection of items from a singular artist, the Musée Marc Chagall largely focusses on religious imagery. Born in 1887, Marc Chagall is synonymous with the modernist movement, although his artwork also dipped into several other styles over the years. Chagall also used various types of media, from glass to stage sets.
Due to the religious elements of his work, the museum was originally called the National Museum Marc Chagall Biblical Message as it includes his series of seventeen images focusing on biblical messages. The museum has been carefully crafted as to take into consideration the stipulations that Chagall left behind with his images. As he awarded the images to the state, he also provided detailed explanations of where he wished his paintings to be hung, in addition to instructions of the annual exhibition that he wished to be held.
Musée d’art moderne et d’art contemporain
The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art has been open since 1990 and is home to modern and contemporary artworks. The building itself is an architectural delight designed by Yves Bayard and Henri Vidal. Imposing yet clean, it is composed of a tetrapod arc joining two existing buildings, the Paillon and the old National 7, together.
Inside, there are a number of different collections for you to feast your eyes upon from 1950 to present day. With avant-garde and minimalism prevalent themes, you can also see collections based on themes such as pop art, European realism and American realism.
The beautifully intricate exterior of the villa that houses Musée Masséna is sure to capture your attention while visiting one of the most popular museums in Nice. The elegant building was once home to the Prince of Essling, after being built as a holiday home for him, and is one of the last remaining villas from the Promenade des Anglais. A fusion of several architectural styles, there is an apparent Italian influence that can be seen from its exterior.
The museum itself is centred around the history of the area, so is perfect if you’re looking for somewhere to visit during your stay in one of our holiday villas in the French Riviera. Central themes include the tourism boom in addition to the monarchs who would frequently visit the region. Stroll around the perfectly maintained gardens before discovering information about some of the interesting artefacts.
Musée international d’Art naïf Anatole Jakovsky
The Musée international d’Art naïf Anatole Jakovsky offers something different from your traditional gallery as it focusses on the talented group of people who practice naïve art. Naïve art has been conceptualised by those with no educational training and therefore, at the time of painting, were not considered to be professional. This category of art largely sees its artists emulate styles previously seen.
Musée international d’Art naïf Anatole Jakovsky is home to work created from the 18th century and onwards, and can be found within the Château Saint Hélène. Wandering around the chateau, you will see a myriad of paintings, sculptures and drawings, most of which were donated by Renée and Anatole Jakovsky, who the gallery has been named after.
Another architectural delight can be found at Palais Lascaris, a 17th century building which has used exceptional attention to detail to accomplish its civil baroque exterior. A previous aristocratic structure, it was owned by the Vintimille-Lascaris family until 1802. At the time, the family were one of the most influential, so the grandeur of their home acted as a symbol of their status. Since then, it has become home to over 500 instruments and is among France’s most important collections.
In addition to the instruments, the museum is divided into two other sections, one of which is a temporary exhibition and the other leads you through carefully restored rooms containing artefacts from the 19th century.
Here's a list of other related categories that you may wish to discover.Visit France