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  5. Henri Matisse's apartment in Nice: An artistic heritage in the heart of Cimiez

Henri Matisse's apartment in Nice: An artistic heritage in the heart of Cimiez

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Henri Matisse's apartment in Nice: An artistic heritage in the heart of Cimiez

Nestled in the heart of the historic district of Cimiez in Nice, Henri Matisse's apartment embodies the fascinating story of one of the most influential artists of the 20th century and his unbreakable link with the city of Nice. This apartment is an invitation to explore the Excelsior Regina Palace, a prestigious residence that once housed the painter's studio, as well as the surrounding neighborhood and the exceptional place that Matisse occupies in the history of the city.

A workshop apartment in the heart of Nice

In the mythical Belle Epoque residence of Nice, the Excelsior Régina Palace, Henri Matisse's apartment on the third floor offers a panoramic view of the city, with the Mediterranean Sea in the background.

Matisse acquired the apartment in 1918 and made it his home and studio. In 1943, faced with the German threat, Henri Matisse left Nice to settle in Vence. He returned to Regina in 1948 and died there on November 3, 1954. He was buried in the cemetery of the Monastery of Cimiez, a few minutes walk from his former home.

This place full of history was the witness of the artistic evolution of Matisse. During these years, he worked on emblematic works, experimented with new techniques and developed his characteristic style, known as "cut painting".


Sale of the Régina, poster by Jean Cassarini, 1937 - Photo : D.R. | Regina's Workshop, Nice around 1953 with Danseuse créole (à plat), L’escargot and Souvenir d’Océanie on the wall. Picture by Lydia Delectorskaya - Photo : Archives Henri Matisse © Succession H. Matisse pour les œuvres de l’artiste

Le Régina: A historic residence in Nice

The Excelsior Régina Palace, located in the historic district of Cimiez in Nice, is a true testimony to the rich architectural past of the city. This emblematic building, built at the beginning of the 20th century, embodies the elegance and charm of a bygone era.

The idea for this luxury residential building was to meet the growing demand for luxury accommodation in the region for foreign holidaymakers. The hotel will take the name “Regina” in homage to Queen Victoria who was not satisfied with the hotels of the time in Nice and who was promised a service highly superior to the Excelsior Regina Palace.

Its construction was entrusted to the architect Sébastien-Marcel Biasini in 1897 as well as to François-Félix Gordolon for the metal structure as well as the wrought iron. For the crown which overlooks the apartments of Queen Victoria, he will be helped by Gustave Eiffel. The Régina stands out in Nice and on the Côte d'Azur for its remarkable architecture, harmoniously combining different artistic styles. In a Belle Époque ensemble, the dominant influence is that of Art Nouveau, with its organic shapes, floral ornaments and curved lines.

The building also features classically inspired elements, such as columns and pediments, which add a touch of timeless elegance. The facade of the building is a true masterpiece, with its delicate details and warm color palette. The wrought iron balconies, the colored stained glass windows and the stucco ornaments give the whole a refined and authentic aesthetic. In addition to its magnificent architecture, Le Régina benefits from a unique asset: its exotic garden. Nestled in the heart of the residence, this lush garden offers an idyllic relaxation space for residents. With its Mediterranean essences, majestic palm trees and flowerbeds, the garden creates a peaceful and serene atmosphere, conducive to relaxation.

Over the decades, Le Régina has managed to preserve its charm of yesteryear, despite the changes and urban developments. It is now classified as a historical monument, testifying to its architectural importance and its role in the history of the city of Nice. Today the former Hôtel Régina is a luxurious residence of private homes that sits proudly in its district, Cimiez.

The Cimiez district

Situated on a verdant hill, Cimiez is a peaceful residential area which enjoys a long history dating back to Roman times. It is renowned for its magnificent gardens, sumptuous villas and historic buildings. Cimiez has been a popular destination for artists and intellectuals since the 19th century, attracted by its Mediterranean climate and serene atmosphere.

The district is also home to important cultural institutions, such as the Matisse Museum and the Marc Chagall Museum, which pay homage to the close ties between these world-famous artists and the city of Nice. The Matisse Museum, located close to the apartment, features an exceptional collection of works by Matisse, giving visitors a glimpse into the evolution of his art.

Henri Matisse's place in the history of Nice

Henri Matisse played a leading role in the artistic history of Nice. Arriving in the city in 1917, Matisse discovered there a new source of inspiration which marked a decisive turning point in his career. He was immediately seduced by the dazzling light of the Côte d'Azur and the vivid colors of the Mediterranean, which became key elements of his work and which continue to inspire other artists.

The Matisse Museum

The Matisse Museum, established after the painter's death in 1963 on the heights of Nice, occupies the Villa des Arènes, which itself dates from 1685. This residence features an ocher red facade and a period Genoese style, and fits perfectly in the middle of the olive grove of the Arènes de Cimiez park.

The museum's collection is entirely dedicated to the artist and includes a variety of works, ranging from paintings, drawings and engravings, to cut-out gouaches and sculptures. This collection comes from the gift of the painter's heirs to the city of Nice. The major interest of this collection lies in the panorama it offers, ranging from the first paintings made in 1890 to the gouache papers created at the end of Matisse's life.

To visit this apartment or learn more about its history, contact Eric Laboue, our commercial director of the Nice agency of Côte d'Azur Sotheby's International Realty at 5 rue Longchamp. He will be your privileged interlocutor on this prestigious property.

+33 (0)4 92 92 12 88

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