Lydia D., muse and model of Matisse
June 19 – September 27, 2010
Created in collaboration with the Departmental Matisse Museum of Le Cateau-Cambrésis as part of the Year of France-Russia 2010, the exhibition Lydia D., muse and model of Matisse is presented at the Matisse Museum of Nice, from June 19 to September 27, 2010, after having been displayed at the Matisse Museum of Le Cateau-Cambrésis from February 27 to May 30.
The exhibition brings together 105 works for which Lydia is the model, including 16 paintings and 77 drawings, and a number of photographs. The loans obtained – 89 works –, some of which are unpublished and all of which are exceptional, come from the painter’s family, a number of American and French private collections, as well as the largest international museums, like the Musée d’art moderne of Montréal, the Statens Museum for Kunst of Copenhagen, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Allen Memorial Art Museum of Oberlin, Ohio, the Tate, the Centre Georges Pompidou / Musée national d’art moderne / Cci of Paris, and the Bibliothèque nationale de France, in Paris.
Lydia Delectorskaya meets Matisse in Nice in 1932, and will be his assistant, his preferred model, his secretary, his studio assistant, but also a close friend who will remain by his side until the end of his days in 1954.
Matisse’s only model for four years, from 1935 to 1939, then for periods over the following 15 years, Lydia was an inexhaustible source of inspiration for him, whether for paintings, drawings, engravings, or books illustrations.
Lydia posed for about 90 paintings and hundreds of drawings.
The master’s great inspiration remains Lydia Delectorskaya for her splendor of form, her beauty and the expression of her face, and also for her intelligence and mind.
The subject of the exhibition:
Lydia Delectorskaya, a young woman of Slavic origins, met Matisse in Nice in 1932, and will be his assistant, his preferred model, his secretary, his studio assistant, but also a close friend who will remain by his side until the end of his days in 1954.
Considering Lydia’s role in Matisse’s life over more than twenty years sheds light on the creation process of the artist and the rigorous method in which his daily life was organized, focused on his work, to which he applied himself with discipline.
Lydia D. was the axis of this organization, indispensable to Matisse’s creativity and inspiration. She oversaw the practical aspects of the Régina apartment studio in Nice, and the Le Rêve villa in Vence. Thus, she was the muse that brought together the conditions favorable for artistic creation. She was also Matisse’s principal model, whom he drew and painted exclusively from 1935 to 1939, then in periods during the following 15 years, she was the origin of a large number of masterpieces. An inexhaustible source of inspiration for paintings, drawings, engravings, and books illustrations, Lydia posed for about 90 paintings and hundreds of drawings.
However, the American artist preserved his own mode of expression, tied to the abstract, which came from his training under American masters like Joseph Albers, founder of optical art, and Hans Hofmann, a follower of Bauhaus, whose scientific approach to the treatment of color and space represents American abstract expressionism, particularly the New York School.
The exhibition route:
Villa, ground floor
Lydia Delectorskaya – arms crossed, painter’s meeting / Le Rêve (The Dream) and Nymphe dans la forêt – La Verdure (Nymph in the Forest – The Green), lying nudes and sleeping figure / Biographic elements
Temporary exhibition space, levels -1 and -2
Lydia, the model / Illustrated messages / Work in the studio / Portraits, faces, masks / The model in the painter’s studio / Lydia, model for masterpieces / Lydia after Matisse
Around the exhibition
exterior patio, level -2. Free access, within the limitation of available seats.
Saturday, July 3, 2010 – 7:30pm: Jazz concert Muse and model, by the group So What.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - 6pm: Concert, Sylvie Robert, soprano, Dimitri Vassilakis, pianist, member of the Ensemble InterContemporain. This performance received the support of the Association des Amis du musée Matisse (Association of the Friends of the Matisse museum).
Musée Matisse, 164 avenue des arènes, 06000 Nice
Exhibition presented until September 27, 2010