The work of Henri Matisse (1869-1954) reflects an ongoing belief in the power of brilliant colors and simple forms. 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.
About the series
Born back in 1985, the Basic Art Series has evolved into the best-selling art book collection ever published. Each book in TASCHEN’s Basic Art series features:
a detailed chronological summary of the life and oeuvre of the artist, covering his or her cultural and historical importance
a concise biography
approximately 100 illustrations with explanatory captions