Beethoven, Picasso, Dickens … the list of influential figures throughout the ages who are well-known solely by their last name is long and profound. Henri Matisse is among that list. Simply hearing the French artist’s surname sends the mind on a colour-filled odyssey, through a body of work spanning half a century that cemented him as a leading figure in the world of modern art. From the 1905 painting Woman with a Hat and the rhythmic energy depicted in Dance (1910), to later works including Large Reclining Nude (1935) and The Snail, a collage begun in the summer of 1952, the legacy of the legend is spoken in a spectrum of ebullient colour. Unsurprisingly, it’s a language that is as powerful today as it was boundary-pushing one hundred years ago.
While we can’t all acquire an original Matisse and indulge in pondering which wall to hang it upon at home – dream as we may – the appetite for a slice of the artist’s effervescent world hasn’t fizzled. This is evidenced by the evolution of the Maison Matisse brand, which was founded in 2019 by the fourth generation of the Matisse family. Aligned “respectfully” with the late artist’s vision, the Maison now fabricates all manner of objet for a new generation of adoring fans. “Each of the brand’s collections is inspired by the universe of the painter,” the Maison says in a statement, adding that every piece has been reinterpreted by contemporary designers and produced by renowned artisans “with the aim of creating objects that can be handed down from generation to generation.”
Colour odyssey: Inside the Maison Matisse flagship store in Paris
Bringing tremendous flashes of colour to Matisse’s beloved Paris, the Maison has opened a petite flagship store in the city’s design district – its blue-painted facade framing a kaleidoscope of wares. “It was precisely the painter’s strong bond with the city, and the aim to cultivate and nourish that feeling to this day, that led [us] to choose Paris as the location for the first boutique,” the Maison says of the store’s 38 Rue du Bac location. “The shop was conceived as an apartment, an intimate, elegant place and an expression of the painter’s very essence. As in a Henri Matisse painting, every detail emerges slowly from the space.”
Inside the store, the space is furnished with shoppable items, some limited edition and others more reliably from the Maison’s permanent collections. In the hand-made La Musique range, mostly designed by Marta Bakowski, pieces pick up the emblematic patterns from Matisse’s 1939 painting of the same name. Among the recurring motifs on display are the philodendron leaf, the curves of a guitar and a woman’s silhouette. The collection includes serving dishes, bottle vases, plates and a pitcher which transpose the vibrant red, green or blue blocks from the original work into three dimensions.
On the moodier side of the colour wheel, the Interieur aux aubergines collection, inspired by and named after the 1911 work by Matisse, was developed in partnership with Italian designer Cristina Celestino. Visitors to the store might find furniture from the range (including a sofa, armchair, folding screens and coffee tables) whose rich shapes and patterns offer a fresh take on the original work. Striking wallpaper, a rug and decorative cushions and vases, each channelling the artwork, are also on rotation.
“The combination of different colours and materials generates a welcoming space with an optimistic atmosphere, able to engage the visitor in a refined and immersive experience that is far from being a simple purchase,” the Maison says of the flagship store. “Furnishings are in dialogue with decoration items, finding their place in intimate libraries and bringing more and more life to an environment in progress that changes as it captivates the visitor with every glance.”
The combination of different colours and materials generates a welcoming space with an optimistic atmosphere, able to engage the visitor…
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