Henri Matisse's final artistic flourish – the colourful cut-outs he created as his health declined – are being brought together for the first time. From tomorrow, London's Tate Modern will show this collection of 120 works produced from 1936 until the French painter's death in 1954 (to 7 September; tate.org.uk; £18). But if you can't make it to the show, there are other places to follow his trail.
Nice down south
Nice's suburb of Cimiez is the setting for the Musée Matisse (00 33 4 93 81 08 08; www.musee-matisse-nice.org; free). Hundreds of his works are displayed in this 17th-century villa near the cemetery where Matisse is buried. He moved to Nice in 1917, where he was inspired by the colours of the Côte d'Azur. Four nights' B&B at the Hotel Le Grimaldi with Planet Rail (01347 811810; planetrail.co.uk) costs from £495pp, including first-class rail travel from London.
New York, New York
You don't have to wait until October when the Tate Modern exhibition moves to the Museum of Modern Art (001 212 708 9400; moma.org; $25/£16). Its permanent collection includes some of his best-known works. Or head to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (001 212 535 7710; metmuseum.org; $25/£16 recommended fee), where there's a large collection donated by the artist's son, Pierre. A three-night stay at the four-star Chambers Hotel costs from £779pp, room only, with DialAFlight (0844 556 6060; dialaflight.com), including flights from London.
Hit the north
The Musée d'Art Moderne (00 33 1 53 67 40 00; mam.paris.fr; free) in Paris has nearly two dozen works by Matisse in a dedicated gallery. But much as Matisse is associated with the south of France, his northern origins come to the fore in the Musée Matisse le Cateau Cambrésis (00 33 3 59 73 38 00; museematisse.lenord.fr; €5) in his birthplace, east of Arras. This is one of France's largest Matisse collections, established by the artist himself in 1952. Eurostar (08432 186186; eurostar.com) trains from London St Pancras to Lille connect via Aulnoye to the nearest station, Le Cateau.
Big in Baltimore
Sisters Claribel and Etta Cone, whom Matisse called "my two Baltimore ladies", spent the early part of the 20th century buying 3,000 works directly from Matisse, Picasso and their contemporaries in Paris. Their 500-odd paintings by Matisse – probably the largest single collection of his works – are the highlight of the Baltimore Museum of Art (001 443 575 1700; artbma.org; free; closed Monday-Tuesday). Virgin Holidays (0844 557 4321; virginholidays.co.uk) has three nights' room only at the Marriott Baltimore Inner Harbor Hotel from £885pp, with flights and car hire.
This exquisite fishing village in French Catalonia was the inspiration for the Fauvist movement, spearheaded by Matisse. The "wild beasts" were seduced by the brilliant play of light on the ochre buildings and blue Mediterranean. You won't see Matisse's paintings, but you can follow his trail marked by picture frames on the spots where he was inspired to paint Luxe, Calme et Volupté. Stay at the Spanish-style three-star Casa Pairal (00 33 4 68 82 05 81; en.hotel-casa-pairal.com), which has doubles from €99, room only.