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The work of Henri Matisse (1869—1954) reflects an ongoing belief in the power of brilliant colours and simple forms.

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Though famed in particular for his paintings, Matisse also worked with drawing, sculpture, lithography, stained glass, and collage, developing his unique cut-out medium when old age left him unable to stand and paint.

Matisse’s subjects were often conventional: nudes, portraits, and figures in landscapes, Oriental scenes, and interior views, but in his handling of bold color and fluid draftsmanship, he secured his place as a 20th-century master. It was Matisse’s palette that particularly thrilled the modern imagination. With vivid blue, amethyst purple, egg-yolk yellow, and many shades beyond he liberated his work from a meticulous representation of reality and sought instead a “vital harmony,” often referring to music as an inspiration or analogy for his work.

A comprehensive and informative source, this lavishly illustrated publication has been revised in close collaboration with the Matisse estate. Including preparatory studies, full-page reproductions, and enlarged details, discover the artist's adventurous path, from the chromatic brilliance of his Fauve period, right through to his invention of gouache cut-outs at the ripe age of 80. Each image has been reproduced with painstaking care to create a viewing experience worthy of the expressionist par excellence. The bard of color deserves no less.

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