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museums in nice


Overlooking the serene blue waters of the Baie des Anges and
sheltered by the foothills of the Maritime Alps, it’s easy to see why English
tourists and Impressionist painters were drawn to the city in the 19th
and 20th centuries. Today it is still a popular holiday destination
and the heart of the French Riviera, with many Nice villas to enjoy a stay in, and
has contributed to some of the finest art France has ever produced. Many of the
works created by artists who based themselves here can now be found in the
city’s museums and galleries, which are must-see attractions for art lovers as
they feature some of the world’s most important collections.


Musée Matisse

Set within a historic Genoese villa surrounded by splendid
Italianate gardens, the Musée Matisse building itself is a work of art, and
hosts an extensive collection of works by Henri Matisse. 68 paintings, 218 drawings,
236 designs and 56 sculptures (almost every sculpture Matisse created) make up
the permanent exhibition, alongside his sketches for decorations of the chapel
in Vence. Temporary exhibits, film screenings and conferences are also held
here throughout the year. Matisse lived in Nice from 1918 to 1954, with his
family gifting the collection to the city as a tribute.


Musée d’Art Moderne
et d’Art Contemporain

Opened in 1990 and designed by architects Henri Vidal and
Yves Bayard, the Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain is a sleek building,
flanked by four towers of Carrara marble. The museum specialises in fine art
from the 1960s and 1970s, covering movements including pop art, minimalism,
American abstract and new realism. An entire room as well as the roof terrace
is dedicated the work of Yves Klein, an artist of the Nouveaux Realistes
movement, who was born in Nice in 1928. Just a short walk from the museum is
Place Garibaldi, which is home to the statue of another famous resident of
Nice, Italian freedom fighter Garibaldi.


Musée Chagall

This museum will delight admirers of Marc Chagall, as it is
perhaps the most important collection of his works in the world. The permanent
exhibition showcases the diversity of Chagall’s magnificent artistry, and spans
paintings, sculptures, mosaics, etchings, wall tapestries and even a stained
glass wall displayed in the concert auditorium. Works by other artists are also
often shown here in temporary exhibitions.


Musée des Beaux Arts


Located within the university district of Les Baumettes, the
Musée des Beaux Arts houses and impressive and extensive collection of art
spanning from the 15th to the 20th centuries. Highlights
of the collection include 17th and 18th century French
paintings and the 19th century paintings and sculptures, spanning
artists such as Chagall, Monet and Degas, as well as pottery by Picasso. The
museum is also home to complete collections such as the Dufy painting
collection and the Alexis and Gustav Adolf Mossa art collections.


Image: m-louis,
available under Creative Commons

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