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Matisse's house in Nice

Matisse’s house in Nice – courtesy of Nice-dailyphoto.blogspot.com

All the money in the world couldn’t buy Nice’s premier piece of real estate. The gold-hued residence of Henri Matisse commands the Cours Saleya. Not a single apartment has come up for sale here since the painter sold up in 1938.

Reliable rumour has it that two prominent local families have owned the property ever since. But fear not. If this magnificent seaside residence – or any property around the corner – comes on the market, you’ll be the first to know.

Like a regular Nice Pebbles client, Matisse was all about location, location, location. Each day, several thousand of Nice’s 15m annual tourists peruse the flower market below. Matisse fell in love with this special spot at 1 place Charles Felix in 1921. After renting the second floor he traded up the fourth, which boasts a wraparound balcony and a whacking great sea view.

It’s here that the Frenchman painted his most famous works. His Gallic charm pulled in the daughters of every café owner and boulangère who posed – naked or otherwise – in his Cours Saleya apartment.

The Hindu Pose from 1923 is reminiscent of an early Karma Sutra, but note the golden shutters behind. The Odalisque from 1925 is another Cours Saleya classic – open the windows to peek at the flower market below. Nothing catches the Riviera’s azure blues like Interior in Nice.

As Matisse neared his 70th birthday, he sought a slice of the quiet life and took a property in Cimiez. Showing ever-present business acumen, he settled on the Palais Régina. This newly converted grand hotel hosted Queen Victoria four decades before.

With elevators, cafés and central heating, Matisse carried on his work in comfort for another 15 years. Those with a million Euros to spend can move into a Cimiez property almost in next door.

You can find out more about Matisse and his body of work on this dedicated Artsy page.

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