Friday, November 04, 2011

Chagall Musee with a Side of Matisse

Moses and the burning bush.
The morning was beautiful, so we walked to the Chagall Musee.  Bib told us it was only .7 k, but we sometimes forget that Bib calculates in "as the crow flies" mileage, and we ain't crows. 3 k later, we find the musee.  We also forgot that Nice is built on hills that run down to the beach, so we were walking up a couple of steep streets.  We tried to stay on the shady side, since it was a warm day. (No complaints about the warm!) 

The longer you look at these, the more you see painted into them.
Stained Glass windows in the auditorium.  It was very distracting trying to watch a movie when THESE were in the room!
A window Chagall designed for a cathedral.  Even though he was a Jew, there are hundreds of his windows in Cathedrals throughout Europe.  There is one in Germany where the cathedral was designed around his windows.  It is breathtaking!

The building was designed specifically for Chagall's paintings.  The auditorium, where we were shown a short film, has four of his stained glass windows. The central section displays a changing selection of visiting artists, then you come to a huge room that is totally Chagall.  I have loved his paintings since the first one I saw as a child.  I was not sure what it all meant, but the color, the movement, the overall joy spoke to my heart.  One cannot feel sad while looking at a Chagall painting.  Visiting here gave us more understanding of his work.  Since he was a Jew, most of the painting tell the story from right to left, like reading Hebrew.  He also painted in the round, with the central character in the middle and the rest of the story revolving around the center.
Most of his painting have religious themes.

Aaron and Isaac

A different way of looking at the cruxificion.
On leaving the museum, we decided to find the bus stop to go on up the hills to Musee Matisse.  We ended up going on stop too far, but a nice woman on the bus pointed out our mistake, and also showed up we could stop for a bite to eat or a drink at the local market.  It did sound like a good idea.  Into the market we went; Bill heading to the deli to pick up mini quiches and me going to find the bottled water.  Then we walked to the gardens where several museums are housed, as well as a Roman ruin, found a bench in the shade and had lunch.
The temporary show currently on exhibit.

A crocheted wall hanging from the exhibit.
You take two 8 x 12 wall painted white, stand them up,  then you let paint in your favorite colors run down the inside and puddle on the ground.  Viola! 
We really liked this!

Musee Matisse is house in an old building that a very modern wing added on.  The collection seemed to us to be things he had left to his family, or had been stored in an attic.  Working drawings, works in progress, models, but very little finished art work, except for some of his very early pieces, well before he became famous for his "modern" drawings.  While it was interesting to see the way he worked and his progression as an artist, it was a bit disappointing.  On the plus side, there was no entrance fee.
The older building is to the right rear.  This was built as the entrance, but the day we visited, it was the exit.

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