In December, 1910 Henri Matisse (1869-1954) visited the Alhambra Palace (Granada) for his first time, after passing through Madrid, Cordoba, Toledo and Barcelona, he was impressed with the Moorish Palace (“Alhambra Palace is a wonder” said Matisse to her wife in a letter), the decor and lighting sets of la Alhambra fascinated the artist, a great admirer of Arab culture and in fact, during his trip to Spain, he painted three pictures and collected a large amount of Manila shawls and curtains from the Alpujarras.
The Fine Arts Museum in Granada, located in Carlos V Palace (in the heart of the Alhambra) hosts the exhibition “Matisse and the Alhambra (1910-2010)” from this month which reviews the artist’s journey to Spain, including not only paintings, but also sculptures, ceramics and lithographs, many of them never displayed in public before.
Correspondence with his wife and friends have allowed to know each step of a journey that began in Madrid, with a meeting with painter Francisco Iturrino, whom he knew from his student days.
And this exhibition has been possible to the collaboration of 40 institutions, including Hermitage Museum, the MOMA in New York or the Louvre Museum along with private collections like the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum or the artist’ s heirs collaboration.
The visitors could admire the exhibition until 28th February 2011 and in it they could see 50 works by Matisse, ranging from paintings, drawings, sculptures or ceramics, as I have written before, as well as personal items such as letters, postcards and photographs or manila tablecloths and tapestries. And the exhibition entrance will be free.
I was in Granada for the last time last January and the photos displayed in this post are some of the many photos I took in my second visit to the Alhambra and I think they may explain why Matisse was so fascinated by this Palace.
Do you think Matisse had enough reasons for being so betwiched by this beautiful Moorish Palace?