Home of the Week: Henri Matisse’s Former French Riviera Apartment Hits the Market for $2.7 Million

The towering 20th-century French artist Henri Matisse was known for his colorful and fluid paintings and defining modern visual art.

Now, his former apartment in Nice, France, where he lived for 10 years, is on the market for nearly $2.7 million. The apartment is located within the famous Régina in the high-end neighborhood of Cimiez in Nice along the French Riviera. Régina was built in 1897 as a hotel and residence and Matisse lived on one of the highest floors of the historic building. The two-bedroom, four-bathroom apartment spans 1,700 square feet and the unit once famously housed the painter’s studio, as well.

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Henri Matisse’s French Riviera Apartment
The balcony overlooks the Bay of Angels.

While the entire apartment has been carefully renovated, what remains from Matisse’s time are the large windows and glass exposures in the great room. There are four balconies in total and a bow window, which Matisse was photographed in front of in 1938. There is a large, light-filled living room with a dining area; an updated kitchen that connects to a balcony and seating area; and a formal entryway. The well-sized primary bedroom has a private balcony, and the primary bathroom features pink walls and pink marble flooring with a soaking tub. The charming apartment is lined with herringbone wood floors and shutters along the windows. Most importantly, there are incredible views of the city of Nice, the sea, and the Bay of Angels from every room.

In addition to its grand lobby and entertaining spaces reminiscent of a bygone era, Régina has a cellar, double garage, full-time caretaker, swimming pool, a park, tennis court, a playground, and a gym. The dramatic landscaped grounds and Belle Époque-style facade feel like you’re living in a palace. The opulence and history can be felt at every turn. Nice is one of the most coveted spots along the French Riviera, with Monaco to the east and Cannes, Antibes, and St. Tropez stretching to the west.

Henri Matisse’s French Riviera Apartment
The updated kitchen.

Régina attracted many notable figures and residents. It was built as a luxury hotel for royals and dignitaries, who sought out a suitable place to stay while in Nice—namely Queen Victoria of England. Other notable visitors included Winston Churchill, Empress Elisabeth and Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria, and Leopold II of Belgium.

Matisse not only lived in this apartment but used a room here as his studio. Françoise Gilot, muse and lover of Matisse’s rival, fellow artist Pablo Picasso, told the Wall Street Journal: “It was interesting to see that he lived the way he painted—when you entered the house, you were in his universe.” He was famously known for collecting objects from around the world, which he stored throughout his home and the inspiration for “Matisse in the Studio,” an exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in 2017.

Henri Matisse’s French Riviera Apartment
The primary bedroom.

There is also a permanent museum dedicated to Matisse in Nice, called Musée Matisse, where many of his works are on display. Nice was particularly influential to the artist throughout his life and until his death in 1954. The home is listed with Côte d’Azur Sotheby’s International Realty.

Click here to see more pictures of Henri Matisse’s Nice apartment.

Henri Matisse’s French Riviera Apartment
Henri Matisse’s French Riviera Apartment

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