This portrait of Henri Matisse, taken in December 1930, is from the Baltimore Museum of Art’s collection. Credit: Baltimore Museum of Art
You can find the work of Henri Matisse in museums all over the world; now, he’s at the Vatican. The Vatican Museums are presenting a brand new project for the Contemporary Art Museum: a room dedicated exclusively to Matisse and the ensemble of works he created for the Chapel of the Rosary in St.-Paul de Vence, France.
Matisse completely designed the chapel, including its architecture, paintings, stained glass windows and vestments, in the 1950s. Among the Vatican’s holdings are four preparatory cartoons of the choir area, five silk vestments designed for the liturgies of the chapel, and 12 lithographs studying the face of the Virgin Mary. These sacred art pieces will be displayed in the museums’ 32nd room, just in front of the stairs to the Sistine Chapel.
Can’t make it to Vatican City? Tour the museums’ collections online, and get up close and personal with the elaborate paintings of the Sistine Chapel, by visiting http://mv.vatican.va.