In 1912, Matisse is feeling a little fed up. In Paris, Picasso is hogging the
limelight, so Matisse decides it’s time for some fresh air, a little space, and a
different kind of light. That’s it, he’ll cross the Mediterranean and start painting
a new kind of nature, so bright that it’s sometimes suffocating. He’s going to
Tangier. Problem is, when he finally gets there, it’s raining. And it doesn’t stop
raining for three months.
In Villa de France, his palatial hotel looking down over Tangier, he has to
make do with painting what he can: his bedroom. And so it begins: Room 35
is consigned to canvas, in a series that goes on to become legendary in the
annals of art history.