11 July 2010

Cool. Period.

When he could no longer go for a swim in the ocean, Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954) brought the water inside. Confined to a wheelchair, he created The Swimming Pool, a 56-foot long frieze of blue bathers silhouetted against a wide band, to adorn the walls of his dining room at the Hôtel Régina in Nice in 1952. In an ultimate interior design moment, he deliberately used his brilliant talent to create an idealized environment for himself.

I love this mural and would have loved to see it installed in his dining room. He created the nine-panel mural in two parts: gouache on paper, cut and pasted, on white painted paper mounted on none other than that perennial favorite...burlap!

And now, with searingly hot July temperatures all over the Northern Hemisphere, we can appreciate Matisse's last great collage even more and thank him for the very cool inspiration.

images courtesy of


Think how pleased Matisse might
be today to see his works viewed by billions of
people all over the world on the internet!


  1. he is my total favorite. I was lucky enough to see some of his pieces in person and it made me so happy.

    thanks so much for posting these. I really enjoyed it!

  2. these are amazing - so abstract, yet so complete!!! Love this...


  3. In hot South Central Texas, this had cooled me off! I after having been in Provence,I have always loved Henri Matisse....Thanks! I feel like I have just taken a dip in "Le Piscine"!
    Maryanne xo

  4. Gorgeous contemporary and cooling....such a lovely reminder of a great artist...

  5. History and beauty is never dull and always cool!

  6. Kit .. I absolutely love Matisse and this mural is exquisite. The blue bather I see as swimming in the white foam of the ocean which is bordered by the taupe sand. So Beautiful .... so wish I could have met you in San Francisco but don't worry we will be back!
    Best wishes

  7. So wonderful cool and refreshing!

    It's the right moment you posted this because it's so hot in Germany!

    Thanks for Matisse in the pool!

  8. Thank you for introducing me to a Matisse work that I was unfamiliar with. I just love it. I learned something today...thanks again....K

  9. So beautiful in its simplicity and so cool. Just great, especially after an absolutely boiling weekend here. Have a lovely week, Love from London x

  10. One can truly imagine how he pictured himself swimming in the ocean. Must of been very hard for him to not have that joy any longer. Thank you for posting Kit. Truly is lovely. xx

  11. I really enjoyed reading this post...thank you for sharing this special story :-)
    xoxo Bardot in Blue

  12. Oh so beautiful ! I always have loved the paintings of Matisse!

    Have a nice rest of the week!

  13. I love the work of Matisse. I'm thinking about replicating the style by large format printing some textured wall covering for my own home.

  14. His work is so fantastic and I really enjoyed this post Kit. Can imagine the room looks amazing!

    Thanks for sharing.

    x Charlotta

    P.S. Wish it was as hot and sunny here in Sydney too.. Spring is a month away. Can't wait! x


I would love to hear what you think! merci!


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