The Musée Matisse is privileged to welcome 16 paintings from the David and Ezra Nahmad collection. These great art dealers and collectors have built this exceptional collection over the years. We would like to pay tribute to their continued generosity in lending artworks to many French public institutions. These paintings, painted in Nice or in Vence, are shown alongside the museum’s permanent collection, providing a wide panorama of Matisse’s art.
Some of these paintings like La Leçon de piano (1923) or Jeune fille à la mauresque, robe verte (1921) are famous. Others are less well-known : the small Intérieur – porte ouverte painted in Étretat (1920-1921), Figure assise et le torse grec (1939) or La lecture painted in 1947. All these paintings were bought at public sales in London, New York, Paris or Tokyo and were part of renowned French or American private collections.
They often belonged to prominent collectors from the 1920s and 1930s such as the Americans John Quinn (L’Artiste et le modèle nu) and Lillie Bliss
(Jeune fille à la mauresque, robe verte) or the French Jacques Sobies (Nu au drapé), Georges Renand (Nu au drapé; Jeune femme assise en
robe grise), Marcel Kapferer (La Leçon de piano, Jeune fille à la mauresque, robe verte) and Henri Canonne (Intérieur – porte ouverte). Portrait au manteau bleu, Nu aux jambes croisées and Figure assise et le torse grec belonged to the artist himself then to his son Jean before he parted with them.
This set of paintings has its own story and raison d’être and is part of a larger collection of modern and impressionist artworks which could be the foundation of a formidable museum in its own right.