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In the 1920s Matisse spent much of the year in Nice, in the South of France, returning to Paris only for the summer months. He continued to paint figure scenes, often semi-clothed 'odalisques' in exotically-patterned interiors. However, he also executed a number of naturalistic landscapes in soft-toned colours, which marked a significant departure from his earlier, more radical work. The presence in this picture of the woman seated on a bench gazing at the view is a reminder of the extent to which the Mediterranean had become a site of tourism by the 1920s.

August 2004