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A Model for Matisse
A film by Barbara F. Freed

67 minutes, documentary, color, English & French w/ English subtitles, 2003

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Synopsis

A warm and richly painted portrait of the little known and tender relationship between one of the twentieth century's greatest artists, Henri Matisse, and Sister Jacques-Marie, the woman who inspired him to create what Matisse proclaimed the masterpiece of his life's work: The Chapel of the Rosary in the French Mediterranean village of Vence.

In 1941, Sister Jacques-Marie - then Monique Bourgeois - was a 21-year-old nursing student and amateur artist living in Nice. She answered an ad placed by Matisse seeking "a young and pretty night nurse," and from this humble beginning a beautiful friendship developed.

This lovely film documents the story's personal and historic aspects, presenting Matisse's never-before filmed hand-painted gouaches and fabrics as well as a rich collection of photographs and archival footage of the aged Matisse working on the Chapel's ceramics.

WINNER! Best Documentary- Avignon/New York Film Festival


Reviews

"ONE OF THE GREAT LOVE AFFAIRS OF ART HISTORY is that between Henri Matisse and Sister Jacques-Marie, consummated in the creation of the Rosary Chapel in Vence. As lightfilled as the tiny chapel – a jewel box of the spirit – A Model for Matisse is an act of veneration, much like the making of the chapel." - Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Matisse's art sparkles in its splendor!" - La Presse

"Beautifully made... refreshingly different. The ultimate message of the film is one of triumph." - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"A sweet, wry, and poignant story." - International Documentary Magazine

"Celebrates the captivating wit, energy and natural authority Matisse first recognized in Sister Jacques-Marie." - The Guardian (UK)


Disc Features

●  Film Notes
●  Interview with Director
●  Director Biography


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