‘Matisse in the Studio’: joie de vivre and Matisse as collector

Two-day art history and theory course

Courses and Classes

  • 28 October 2017, 10am — 5pm
  • 29 October 2017, 10am — 5pm

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Part of our

Matisse in the Studio

events programme
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Henri Matisse, Yellow Odalisque, 1937.

Oil on canvas. 55.2 x 46 cm. Philadelphia Museum of Art. The Samuel S. White 3rd and Vera White Collection, 1967 Photo © Philadelphia Museum of Art © Succession H. Matisse/DACS 2017 Exhibition organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in partnership with the Musée Matisse, Nice..

Join international expert on Matisse and modern art, Dr Nicholas Watkins, for a thrilling insight into Matisse’s art and practice, the inner sanctum of his studio and his relationship to the outside world, and people and objects he collected around him.

Matisse was at the forefront of one of the most vibrant and progressive periods in European culture which lay the foundation for modern art and its ideals. He was fiercely independent and embraced motifs that evoked a unique view of the human condition and its context. Even in times of great historical turmoil and uncertainty, straddling two great wars that ravaged Europe, Matisse offers a vibrant, almost utopian, vision of exotic setting and objects, richly colourful interiors, oriental nudes, and seascapes of the Côte d‘Azur where he worked, provocatively glimpsed from a window beyond. His interpretation of the world remains both beguiling and unsettling and evokes discussion, debate and much admiration.

Guided by experts, this course provides a unique opportunity to explore the RA’s exhibition Matisse in the Studio, and gain a deeper understanding of this remarkable artist as well as exciting and ground-breaking period in the arts.

The course aims to evoke the spirit of the age and the popular setting of the French Riviera, which became both a winter and later summer retreat of unrivalled reputation. The lifestyle and the landscape fuelled and inspired several generations of Europe’s greatest artists, who lived and worked there. As well as providing an over-arching art historical frame, the course allows a unique insight into the inner sanctum of Matisse’s working life, studio and practice.

The course is notable in drawing on the research and archival material of Dr. Nicholas Watkins who, during lengthy research trips to France in the late 1960s and early 1970s, became closely acquainted with Matisse’s immediate family, models and friends. He was able to experience and photograph several of Matisse’s motifs, objects and studio interiors which have subsequently been lost or destroyed and this unique documentary material will form part of his lectures.

Matisse was an obsessive collector of objects and this course will consider the artist as collector alongside the objects that surrounded him. We will consider the what, why and how he collected and the influence Matisse’s collection had on his practice and art.

This weekend course provides an exciting opportunity to explore the contributions of Matisse also within modern art with insight into the historic and critical narratives. Tracing Matisse’s practice with reference to contemporaries and the artists he directly inspired, as well the immediate context of the French Riviera in which he worked and the wider historic, social and economic context of the time provides a unique opportunity to understand the significance and enormous influence of Matisse, his ideas and the period in shaping the course of Western art and culture.

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● Cancelled

  • 28 October 2017, 10am — 5pm
  • 29 October 2017, 10am — 5pm

The General Assembly Room, Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly

£360. Includes all materials, light refreshments and a wine reception at the end of the Saturday.

Book now