Botticelli versus Matisse at the MFA: Art and Lunch on a Museum Sister Date

It is pretty rare that Natalie and I are out on our own these days, so when the MFA Boston invited us in for lunch recently we jumped at the excuse to have a little time at the museum together, leaving the toddlers at home this time!

Right now the museum is hosting two incredible exhibitions: Matisse in the Studio, featuring his paintings, drawings, sculptures, along with objects that influenced his style, as well Botticelli and the Search for the Divine, an impressive collection of paintings from the Renaissance painter. Both exhibitions close on July 9, so make sure to catch them while you can!

To go along with this amazing art, the museum created special themed menus to complete the experience. We restaurant-hopped and tried a little bit from each, and both menus were delicious! The Botticelli fans can enjoy a prosecco and limoncello cocktail, Tuscan white bean dip, panzanella salad, and more at the New American Café in the light-filled courtyard atrium.

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Matisse fans will find champagne-poached salmon, pan-roasted sea bass, baba au rhum, and a selection of French wines — still our favorites — in the sophisticated Bravo restaurant (we ate on the patio!)

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Don’t worry, we still had time to check out the exhibitions, even with all of our lunching! I love both artists, but if pushed to choose, am probably “Team Matisse” — I adore his use of colors and experiments with perspective. This blog post shares more of my favorites from the exhibition.

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The Moorish ScreenHenri Matisse (French, 1869–1954), 1921
Philadelphia Museum of Art: Bequest of Lisa Norris Elkins, 1950. Courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. © 2017 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Natalie especially loved the Botticelli paintings. The human figures are so beautiful, and have an almost otherworldly air. It is pretty amazing to be able to see this large collection of Botticellis in the U.S.!

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Madonna of the Loggia, Sandro Botticelli (Italian (Florentine), 1444 or 1445–1510) c. 1467
Uffizi Gallery, Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

We also did plenty of wandering around, because when your surroundings look like this, why not?

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Thanks for having us, MFA!

Image Credit: Laura Chassaigne and Natalie Kurtzman


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  1. Molly Galler says:

    I love the idea of a menu inspired by an exhibit!

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