Matisse confesses to his muse who turned nun
Matisse was old and ill in need of a nurse for the night. A young lady applied and she became his model and best friend. Later she became a nun and together they built a beautiful chapel in Vence, France. She: Do you remember that ad you put in the local press? Him: Yes, every word: "The artist, Henri Matisse, is looking for a night nurse, young and pretty. She: "You mustn't have been very happy when you saw me arrive? Him: Oh yes, on the contrary. She: It was after, wasn't it, that it was difficult. When I took the veil? Him: Yes, you never wanted to pose for me again. I loved painting you so much, with your spindle-shaped arms where you can't see any articulation. And then your hair, the splendid mass of your hair. She: I knew almost nothing about painting. I was not very happy with the portrait you had painted of me. I wanted a nice portrait, and you looked furious. You told me that if it was a question of making a likeness, a photo would do better! You must have taken me for an idiot. Him: No, Monique, quite the contrary. At least you didn't call me Master. It was lovely, when you thought otherwise. She: Please call me Sister Jacques-Marie, that's my name now. Him: Tell me, did you like them, all the same, our working sessions at the Regina Hotel? She: Yes, despite your demands. Arrive on time, wash your hair before coming so that it is very flexible. One day, to enrage you, I threatened to cut them off! We were teasing each other, weren't we? It was like a place of peace in the midst of war. And then, without saying anything, you fed me. It was only at your place that I could find sugar and milk. I was there to take care of you, but, you know, you took care of me too. Is it true, what I have been told, that you had stopped working for more than two months, after I entered the novitiate? Him: You were the focus of my energy. It took me that long to accept. Now I understand. We are not separate, we are linked, as linked as before, but in a different way. Like you, I have all my strength directed towards the same spiritual horizon, and my effort only apparently differs from yours. You know how I work. We have roads that run alongside each other in the same spiritual region; however, something separates us now, something essential. But what, in the end !? The sacraments. She: I have no lesson to receive at the end of my priesthood life, I have not needed the sacrament to glorify the creature throughout my life ... Him: You pray for me ? Thank you ! Ask God to give me, in the last years, the light of the spirit which would keep me in contact with him, which would allow me to finish my long and laborious career, by what I have always sought: to restore to the blind their obvious glory by exclusively earthly food . She: You are still full of anger. Him: I am full of impatience and desire to do. Forgive me, you stirred me. You manage to make me say things that I never say in words. Admit that there is a kind of flirtation between us ... I prefer to say "fleurte", because it is as if we were throwing flowers at each other, roses stripped of leaves. Come on, I'll build your chapel, and I'll take care of the stained-glass windows!
Video works explained
© Pierre Wat, for L'Oeil , art journal
Matisse was old and ill in need of a nurse for the night. A young lady applied and she became his model and best friend. Later she...