Henri Matisse: Traits Essentiels, Gravures Et Monotypes, 1906-1952; Cabinet Des Estampes

Front Cover
Christophe Cherix
Cabinet des estampes du Musée d'art et d'histoire, 2006 - Art - 151 pages
If painting was for Matisse the expression of a "state of condensed sensations," his engravings consisted of ""Traits Essentiels"" or "essential lines: " they were recordings of a single sensation, and rarely passed through any series of stages or reworkings. In fact, engraving was a refuge. Marguerite Duthuit-Matisse, co-author of a catalogue raisonne of her father's prints, describes the graphic work he often executed at the end of a painting session as an "agreeable conclusion." After several experiments with drypoint, Matisse turned toward woodcut in 1906 (and gave it up almost immediately), then worked simultaneously in monotype and etching, where he achieved an astonishing tension between surface and line. Later, he turned to linocut and to sugarlift aquatint. It is on these projects that the selection in "Traits Essentiels" focuses: Lithography, which Matisse practiced from 1906 to 1952, and with which he was less experimental, is excluded. Text in French only.

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About the author (2006)

Henri Matisse was born in 1869 and grew up in northern France, near Belgium. As a young man he studied law and worked in the courts until, convalescing after appendicitis, he began to paint. His work became some of the most important art made in the twentieth century. It is intensely composed and colored; he was the leader of the Fauvists and soon an acknowledged leader across the arts. His career was powerful and enduring by any standard, and 50 years after death in 1954, his work continues to rise in value. In 2003, The Museum of Modern Art organized 'Matisse Picasso, ' a show setting the two artists' work side by side, and in 2005 Matisses' son's collection of his work appeared at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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