The Voyages of Matisse, Chasing Light

May 31, 2020 - History


In 1930, the sixty-year old Matisse feels one last time the urge to travel and encounter otherness. He boards a boat to Polynesia. This trip is the final result of a long quest. Indeed, a man of the North always in search of light and vibrant colours, he has, in the course of his life, made numerous voyages taking him always further South: Brittany, Corsica, Collioure, Nice and its heartland, but also Spain, Algeria and Morocco. This voyages have deeply influenced his works and were a springboard towards  modernity and even abstraction. As for Polynesia, it is going to influence the last twenty-five years of his artistic life and take him on the cusp of contemporary art. But this artistic quest is also a search for himself leading him to passionately pursue his voyage to the heart of his own spirituality.. 


Production :

CC&C, Arte France, RTBF, Centre Pompidou, Nocturnes Productions, Man's Films Productions, with the participation of RTS

Broadcaster :

Arte, RTBF

Format :

52 minutes

Distribution :

Mediawan Rights

Original Score :

Philippe Miller

Director :

Raphaël Millet

Author :

Raphaël Millet


"A fascinating dive into Matisse's universe, from shadow to light."

Vogue (translated from French)

"This poetic and shimmering documentary . . . plunges the viewer into the journeys where the influential painter has enriched his palette and decompartmentalized his gaze. The journey to break the shackles and open up to the world. . . . Didactic, this documentary lets itself be carried away by the inexhaustible eloquence of the master's paintings and words."

Nice Matin (translated from French)

"One does not tire of discovering all the secrets of the work and life of this artist painted on December 31, 1869 at the Cateau-Cambrésis. . . . The film focuses particularly on his last trip to Polynesia in 1930, which will bring him to the threshold of contemporary art. The voice of Olivier Gourmet adds the final touch..."

La Voix du Nord (translated from French)