Matisse and the Sea


This book is not yet published, but will be available from June 2024.

ISBN: 9783777442693 Category:


Matisse and the Sea offers a new approach to the understanding of the important painting, Bathers with a Turtle, exploring, for the first time, the seminal role of African sculpture in the evolution of the painting. The book reexamines the significant connection with Cezanne, and provides fascinating new information on the afterlife of the picture.

Matisse and the Sea focuses on the Saint Louis Art Museum’s iconic painting, Bathers with a Turtle. The exhibition catalogue brings together related works by Matisse in a range of media (paintings, sculptures, ceramics, drawings, prints, textiles, paper cutouts) and objects that influenced the picture, including African sculpture and painting by Cezanne. It also includes revealing new conservation analysis. The book examines two themes related to Bathers with a Turtle. First, the evolution of the picture, exploring Matisse’s appropriation of a range of sources as he sought to develop an experimental and novel visual language. The second examines the afterlife of the picture, looking at its impact on Matisse’s later imagery of bathers and the sea, as well as its collector and exhibition history in Germany and the USA.

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 24 x 29 cm
Publisher name Hirmer Verlag GmbH
Publication date 26 June 2024
Number of pages 144
Format Hardback
Contributors Edited by Simon Kelly
Dimensions 24 x 29 cm
Weight 300 g


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Simon Kelly is curator of modern and contemporary art at the Saint Louis Art Museum. He has published extensively on 19th and early-20th century French art. He received a doctorate from Oxford University, where he also taught art history.