Item description for Matisse: A Second Life by Henri Matisse & Hanne Finsen...
The latter years of Matisse's career made up what he described as his "second life". This catalogue is dedicated to Matisse's late work and provides a greater understanding of the artist through his correspondence with the writer Andr Rouveyre. It begins with a serious operation Matisse underwent in 1941 and ends with his death in 1954, a period of 13 years during which there was an extraordinary blossoming of his art. Rouveyre was a novelist and artist dreaded for his cruel portraits, and an old friend from Matisse's student days. These letters (almost 1200 of them) provide unprecedented insight into Matisse's creative process and artistic aspirations, at a time when he was redefining his modes of expression. Many are adorned with drawings and decorations and for the first time this catalogue relates these letters to works produced, or in production, at the time they were written: oils on canvas, drawings, illustrated books, tapestries, stained-glass window maquettes, and large and small gouache cut-outs.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 9.75" Height: 11" Weight: 4.05 lbs.
Release Date Aug 15, 2005
ISBN 2754100431 ISBN13 9782754100434
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Spectacular Record of an Important Exhibition Feb 14, 2006
Before "Matisse: A Second Life" appeared, an exhibition focusing solely on the late work of this greatest of French masters had never been seen in France. Unlike most exhibition catalogues, this book is no mere compendium of pretty pictures, but a serious contribution to art history which will have lasting scholarly value long after the show's close. The "Second Life" of the title refers to the last few years of Matisse's existence, from about 1940 to 1954. After the chaos which accompanied the fall of France to German troops, Matisse fell ill with duodenal cancer and had to endure a serious operation early in 1941. Matisse nearly died during the operation, and remained a semi-invalid for the rest of his life (making the achievement of his last years all the more compelling). Rather than allow his health problems to embitter him, Matisse saw his tenuous survival as a new lease on life, a blessing of additional time in which to realize his fondest ambitions. Ironically, despite - or perhaps because of - his health problems, the 1940s were to see an extraordinary flowering of Matisse's art, from the creation of some of his most highly regarded paintings to the invention of a completely new medium - the famed paper cut-outs. "A Second Life" is the first exhibition to survey this critical period in any detail. Organized around the correspondence between Matisse and his friend, poet and artist Andre Rouvyere, this exhibition brought together the insights available to us via this exchange of letters and presented these invaluable keys to the mystery of creation alongside a number of Matisse's most important works from the period. The book itself is beautiful - the color plates are of the finest quality and the spare, elegant design is ravishing. While may of the works here - such as the plates from 1947's "Jazz" - are world-famous, "Matisse: A Second Life" also shows many less well-known (but not lesser) works. Careful study of these images demonstrates that the cut-outs did not develop in isolation, but in fact were the solution to Matisse's long-held desire to unite color and drawing into a single medium, an effect which he achieved in oil paint between 1942 and 1948 after a lifetime of experiment. For those who love Matisse's work or are curious about how artists think, this book is an essential addition to your library.