Their work is commemorated in many of the city's museums, including Musée Marc Chagall, Musée Matisse and Musée des Beaux-Arts.
Nice (Nicaea) was probably founded around 350 BC by the Greeks of Massalia (Marseille), and was given the name of Nikaia (Νίκαια) in honour of a victory over the neighbouring Ligurians; Nike (Νίκη) was the Greek goddess of victory.
The city soon became one of the busiest trading ports on the Ligurian coast; but it had an important rival in the Roman town of Cemenelum In the 7th century, Nice joined the Genoese League formed by the towns of Liguria.
In 729 the city repulsed the Saracens; but in 859 and again in 880 the Saracens pillaged and burned it, and for most of the 10th century remained masters of the surrounding country.
Many Italians from Nizza then moved to the Ligurian towns of Ventimiglia, Bordighera and Ospedaletti, giving rise to a local branch of the movement of the Italian irredentists which considered the re-acquisition of Nice to be one of their nationalist goals.
In 1900, the Tramway de Nice electrified its horse-drawn streetcars and spread its network to the entire département from Menton to Cagnes-sur-Mer.
After the Treaty of Turin was signed in 1860 between the Sardinian king and Napoleon III, the County was again and definitively ceded to France as a territorial reward for French assistance in the Second Italian War of Independence against Austria, which saw Lombardy united with Piedmont-Sardinia.
The cession was ratified by a regional referendum: over 25,000 electors out of a total of 30,700 were in favour of the attachment to France.
During the struggle between Francis I and Charles V great damage was caused by the passage of the armies invading Provence; pestilence and famine raged in the city for several years.
Through the ages, the town has changed hands many times.
Its strategic location and port significantly contributed to its maritime strength.
The city's main seaside promenade, the Promenade des Anglais ("Walkway of the English') owes its name to visitors to the resort.
The clear air and soft light have particularly appealed to notable painters, such as Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Niki de Saint Phalle and Arman.
In 1775 the king, who in 1718 had swapped his sovereignty of Sicily for the Kingdom of Sardinia, destroyed all that remained of the ancient liberties of the commune.