Matisse in the Studio

Royal Academy of Arts

5 August – 12 November 2017

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Gain a deeper understanding of how Henri Matisse worked in his studio through an exhibition bringing together many of the treasured objects that inspired him.

Haiti, North Africa, late 19th-early 20th century. Cotton plainweave cut and appliquéd to bast fiber cloth. Former collection of Henri Matisse

Entering an artist’s studio is a revealing moment: the items they have chosen to surround themselves with shed light not only on their process but also on their personal tastes and interests.

For Matisse in the Studio, the Royal Academy focus exclusively on the artist’s possessions for the first time, aiming to reveal how his collection of items from around the world influenced, intersected with and took on new identities within his art. 

Objects on show include Buddhist statuary from Thailand, Bamana figures from Mali, and furniture and textiles from North Africa, all of which appear in Matisse’s work in different guises and provided him with touchpoints from beyond the limits of Western art. In creating the sets for his ‘odalisques’ in his Nice studio, he used props from the Islamic world, while Chinese calligraphy and African textiles played a role in the development of his cut-out method. 

Many of the paintings, sculptures and drawings these items inspired can be seen alongside their subjects, enabling a clearer appreciation of the links.

Venue information

Opening times

Mon – Thu, Sat – Sun, 10am – 6pm
Fri, 10am – 10pm

Closed 23 Jun, 24 – 26 Dec

"Art Fund" is the operating name of the National Art Collections Fund, a charity registered in England and Wales (209174) and Scotland (SC038331)