MATISSE IN THE STUDIO at the Royal Academy

Matisse liked to buy stuff.  Not expensive stuff, just beautiful stuff.  Once he owned it, he painted it.  His studio was full of it, everybody who visited Matisse in the studio commented on it.  Now the Royal Academy has gathered together some of that stuff and stood it next the pictures that Matisse painted of them.

Matisse in the Studio

Sometimes when it is a vase of flowers your focus is firmly on the vase and the flowers.  Seeing the very vase is interesting and I would quite like to have one just like it.

Matisse in the Studio

Things become altogether more fascinating when the painting is of a person or a room.   Your attention is then ordinarily taken by the person or the biggest thing in the room.  Once you have the objects in front of you, it is the chair you look at and not the beautiful woman.  I covet this table as well.

Matisse in the Studio

Mr CW and I have been looking for the perfect wing chair for a long long time.  I was glad to learn that Matisse had similarly long quests for the perfect chair.  He searched for a year before he found this wooden Venetian chair.  The first thing he did once he got it home was to put a vase of tulips on it and draw the whole lot.  Not something that either Mr CW or I have the talent to do.

Matisse in the Studio

Seeing the objects that lived with Matisse in the studio in the flesh with his painted version is fascinating.  Best of all was seeing how he gained inspiration from the objects and used them as a leaping off point.  He commented on the shapes in this panel of Chinese letters and was inspired to produce his famous cut outs.

Matisse cut outs

When Cultural Wednesday was young we went to see Matisse: Cut Outs at Tate Modern and were inspired to go home and set to with scissors and glue ourselves.

Have you ever been inspired to go home and create a masterpiece after a gallery visit?

Royal Academy
Open: Daily 10am – 6pm (until 10pm Fridays)
Admission: Adult £15.50, concessions available, children under 16 go free
Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD
5 August – 12 November 2017



  1. August 8, 2017 / 8:38 am

    Well, this made me chuckle. I’m not entirely you are in tune with his taste … your comments are a study in politeness. I liked the blue vase but quite frankly wouldn’t have given house room to the chair or table. Very interesting background to Matisse’s cut outs – I didn’t know that. Thanks, Catherine.

    • Catherine
      August 8, 2017 / 9:51 am

      Sad to say that if the table and chair were on sale in the RA shop they would be in my house at the very moment

  2. Susanna Bavin
    August 8, 2017 / 12:40 pm

    How extraordinary to see the original beside the painting. That chair is rather gorgeous but I wonder how comfortable it is. I am always interested when writers talk about the story behind the story, and here is the story behind the painting. Fascinating.

    • Catherine
      August 8, 2017 / 12:41 pm

      The chair could sit in a corner looking lovely and only be used when we have a house full

  3. August 8, 2017 / 4:42 pm

    I did not know that, it’s fascinating isn’t it? I wonder if he bought different things because he thought they would be good to paint? I love how they’ve set the exhibition up.

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