Maison Matisse celebrates Henri Matisse's 150th birthday by launching its very first collection of limited-edition vases.

Nine ceramic pieces inspired by the painter's artwork and made by three international designers: Alessandro Mendini, Jaime Hayon and Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. With the support of Maison Matisse, these creators soaked up Henri Matisse's universe with the discernment and creativity required to truly understand him without losing their identity.

As the figurehead of the Memphis movement, Alessandro Mendini got people talking about his understanding of color inspired by Henri Matisse's figurative world, purity and light. Alongside him, the designer Jaime Hayon has taken inspiration from nature and a fantasy underwater world to return to ceramic with unbridled passion. In the meantime, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec have used this collaboration as a way to express their admiration for the painter's sensual work through a reinterpretation of the idea of the open window, one of Henri Matisse's favorite subjects.

Maison Matisse's choice of three designers from different backgrounds is also a tribute to the adventurous painter's open-mindedness whose melting pot pieces have always held onto something from his many travels. But by bringing together points of view, cultures and different techniques in a single collection, Maison Matisse has also made one of his wishes come true: to grow his family and write a cosmopolitan story.

The designers' inspirations reflect this wealth of perspectives.

Jaime Hayon

« One of the things I most admire in Matisse's work is the use of color that fits in so well, is so unique and used in a magical way. It reflects both elements of different cultures and the exciting rich journey of a unique life. His signature is a combination of precision and figurative talent. »

« When you look closely at his paintings, you can see a rich combination of elements e.g. his depiction of nature combined with imaginative furniture and use of objects from cultures which were important to him. Henri Matisse used solid figures; the contrast of colors is wonderful. The main thing I feel I share with Matisse is a passion for the Mediterranean: nature, the sea, imagination and the ability to dream.

The choice and use of blues and oranges remind me of the medinas, orange blossom and markets in North Africa. Values like these take me to a Mediterranean radiating power and magic. I am a passionate admirer of his style and it's always been a real source of inspiration for me. Having the chance to put the inspiration I draw from his work into my personal cosmography has been very rewarding. »

« The initial concept of the vases is based on fantastic elements: shapes, silhouettes and natural features that melt together and float in a sea of color.

The shape of the vase itself is inspired by the Mediterranean references and elements that appear in Matisse's work.

Tradition and daring come together to create unique and defined external lines that give strength and character to the style and concept of the design. »

Jaime Hayon

Alessandro Mendini

« When I close my eyes and think of Henri Matisse, the first word that comes to mind is purity and the second is light. Matisse is a pure, radiant and complete spirit and painter. »

« I see the elements he worked with and put his imagination into as plant leaves in their vases, domestic areas with their furniture and objects, nude and clothed women, all interwoven in a decorative space adorned with arabesques. Any bond, any empathy between me and this great character's figurative world could only come from an object, a vase to be exact. I have been designing vases for several years and have studied them in all their forms from Ancient Egypt to China, Korea, the Italian Renaissance and Venetian secession.

To pay tribute to Matisse, I explored a complex, contorted and organic shape, as if it were conceptual foliage – a sort of memory of Liberty here and large silhouettes there taken from the structure and geometry of some of his paintings. The complex chromatic system that Matisse created over time inspired me to choose hues by analyzing details in certain pieces from different periods so as to achieve a range that could provide dark and bright, erotic and natural, abstract and concrete colors. »

«So, I designed a palette of eight colors (plus black and white). Similarly, I outlined three decorative hand-layered stylistic features. The three ceramic vases in my collection stand out for their increasing sizes, each with its own shape, each using six out of the eight specially designed colors (plus black and white), fired separately, alternating between shiny areas and opaque areas.

Their delicate manufacture was awarded to the master Florentine artisan Alessio Sarri, the owner of a long-standing studio in the modern pottery world. »

Alessandro Mendini

Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec

« This series of vases transcribes the idea of a window open to the outside, a pictorial theme often present in the work of Matisse. »

« To recreate the image of a window through which a landscape can be seen, terracotta, anodized aluminum and glazed ceramic have been combined in three shapes.

The anodized aluminum plate, vibrating in the light, becomes an azure sky. The window sill takes the form of a terracotta brick. A glazed ceramic cylinder receives fresh flowers. »

Ronan et Erwan Bouroullec