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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
MATISSE IN THE STUDIO
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