$138 USD per device. 4 programs, held weekly. Enroll in all 4 or choose only the ones that interest you. Each program is 60 mins, including time to ask questions and exchange ideas. Suitable for all ages, no background required.

  • Fridays, May 14, 21, 28, and June 4 at 10:00 am EST
  • Thursdays, June 3, 10, 17, 24 at 2:00 pm EST

Explore the studio of Henri Matisse, via deeply personal objects that inspired the artist. Furniture from Tunisia, an Andalusian vase found in Spain, figural sculpture from the various African traditions that Matisse admired—all of these were key sources of creative inspiration. Objets d’art from around the world impacted his practice in subtle, but meaningful ways. You will learn about Matisse’s experiments with form, color, and pattern, by looking closely at some of the most adventurous art of 20th-century French modernism.  

Your educator Ellen McBreen, PhD, is an internationally recognized Matisse expert, and co-curator of the “Matisse in the  Studio” exhibition, MFA Boston and Royal Academy London, 2017. She is Associate Professor and Chair, History of Art, Wheaton College, founder of Muse Education Group, and member of the Educational Advisory Board for Muse+Connect. 

Inside Matisse’s Studio: A Series features:

An Interior World 

Travel to the studio-homes of Matisse, in Paris, Issy, Nice and Vence. How did Matisse create his global, but deeply personal, world of inspiration? You will meet an international cast of characters who appear in Matisse’s works over the course of 40 years. As the artist himself once said: “The object is an actor. A good actor can have a part in 10 different plays; an object can play a role in 10 different pictures.”

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Models for Nudes

Beginning in 1906, Matisse used two specific sources in the studio: photography and African sculpture. You will see how Matisse combined these different approaches to representing the human body to create his own abstract but sensual nudes. Learn about some of the foundational lessons Matisse drew from the West and Central African figural sculpture he was also collecting at the time. You may be surprised to see the truly global sources that inspired this very French modernist.

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Portraits & Masks 

Long studio sessions with Matisse often resulted in portraits that did not please their subjects. For the artist, portraits were an intense site of contestation between physical resemblance and what Matisse understood to be the more lasting, essential character of the person he was portraying. You will see how his efforts to reveal the inner identity of his sitters were directly inspired by masks from Africa and other non-Western traditions. We will focus on his painted and sculpted portraits from the teens, which are also some of Matisse’s most radically abstract works.

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Memories of Morocco

Matisse traveled to Morocco in the teens, and the experience stayed with him for the rest of his life. You will see how the artist’s memories were filtered through his work. We’ll focus on the Moroccan-inspired theatrical stagings he constructed in his studio throughout the 1920s. The impact of Islamic design, and North African objets d’art in particular is palpable in Matisse’s rich chromatic patterns and in the seductive charms of his many Orientalist paintings.

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Have a question? Click here for Muse+Connect FAQs. 

Image: Your instructor Ellen McBreen; Cover of her 2017 book, Matisse’s Sculpture: The Pinup and the Primitive.

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