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!


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