Matisse and the French Riviera with Pamela Morton

Matisse and the French Riviera with Pamela Morton


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One of the giants of modern art, Matisse is best known for his expressive use of color. He spent the last four decades of his life in Nice on the French Riviera. There he found inspiration in that city’s light, climate, and relaxed lifestyle, and its exotic and fanciful mix of palm trees, sea, mountains, and flamboyant seaside architecture. ‘It’s all fake, absurd, amazing, delightful,’ he said. ‘Nice is a stage set.’

This discussion will investigate the ways in which Nice and the Côte d’Azur shaped the development of Matisse’s art. In particular, we will look at two themes that informed successive painting campaigns. The first series consists of framed views of the Promenade des Anglais and the Mediterranean as glimpsed from inside the hotel rooms where he initially lived and worked. The effect is that of a picture within a picture, posing questions about the nature of painting and illusionism. The second series, staged in a studio space overlooking the bustling marketplace of the Old Town, features costumed models and exotic props placed against richly patterned fabrics. These paintings echo a type of Orientalist fantasy, but their sensuality comes more from the overall arrangement of colors and shapes than from the female figure alone.

Led by Pamela Morton, an expert on the art and artists of the French Riviera, this interactive seminar will introduce participants to some of the key works that make up Matisse’s ‘Nice period.’ Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased knowledge of the relationship between the artist and the setting in which he worked.

Originally from the US, Pamela has lived in France (Aix-en-Provence and Marseille) for 25 years. Pamela teaches studio art and art history for American university programs in Aix. She trained in art restoration in Italy and has a background in museum work as a curatorial assistant and program director. She is also an artist working in mixed media -- drawing and painting. She attended Bennington College and California College of the Arts. She's worked as the on-site director for a study abroad program and for educational programs including the Smithsonian, Alumni International and Cultural Experiences Abroad. She's taught for Northwestern University, Oberlin College, and the Marchutz School of Art (Aix). As an art historian, Pamela is endlessly fascinated by the local culture, the archaeology, history, and architecture of the region as well as its monuments and museums. As a painter, she is intrigued by the light and colors of this southern realm, the Midi, where so many artists lived and worked. Her two favorite artists from Provence are Cézanne and van Gogh.

This conversation is not suitable for children under age 16

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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Customer Reviews

Based on 21 reviews
95%
(20)
5%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
m
m.b.
M
M.s.
Loving matisse
R
R.K.
Wonderful Presentation
A
A.
S
S.M.
Thank You