The museum gathers one of the world’s largest collections of Matisse’s work, tracing his artistic career from his first painting Nature morte aux livres (1890) to one of his final works Fleurs et fruits (1953).
Opened in 1963, the museum is in a 17th-century Genoese-style villa in the Cimiez neighbourhood. Most pieces in the collection were donated to the city of Nice by Matisse himself, who lived there from 1917 until his death in 1954.
The collection includes 31 paintings, 454 drawings and prints, 38 cut-outs and 57 sculptures, as well as more than 400 shapes for his cut-outs; not actually used by Matisse, but preserved and donated by his family in 2012. The museum also has a selection of personal objects that belonged to the French artist, many of which were incorporated into his artwork.