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Last updated: 1/25/2017
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Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954) Original Prints: A l'amitie / To friendship and other desires

Matisse 1: 1929 Pochoirs / Matisse 2: Ulysses (1935) and Paris 1937 / Matisse 3: Linocuts 1939-1950
Matisse 4: Pasiphae (1944), Ronsard (1948), and Apollinaire (1952) / Matisse 5: Images of Women, 1938-1952
Matisse: Repli 1947 / Matisse 6: Last Works / Matisse 7: Blue Nudes (1950-1954)

Gauguin / Camoin / Derain / Rouault / Vlaminck
L'angoisse qui s'amasse en frappant sous ta gorge (Fribourg 3, Musée Matisse Livres, pp. 36-39; full-page illustration, p. 133). Original linogravure on Arches, 1944. 230 impressions (plus 20 HC) for Henry Montherlant's Pasiphae, Chant de Minos (Le Cretois) published by Martin Fabiani, Editeur. All of the portfolios were signed by Matisse and all of the blocks were cancelled after printing. Montherlant, a close friend of Matisse's, was a distinguished novelist and critic. This is one of Matisse's most important linocuuts and is illustrated in Henri Matisse: Gravures et lithographies, Musee d'art et d'histoire, Friboug (1982), p. 201. It is also illustrated in Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Matisse: His Art and Public (Museum of Modern Art, 1974). p. 494 and Matisse: L'Art du Livre (Nice: Musee Matisse, 1986), p. 133. Image size: 338x258mm. Price: $5000.
Portrait of Montherlant (Fribourg 16, Musée Matisse Livres, p. 36). Original linogravure, 1944. 100 numbered impressions for Gravures originales sur la theme de Pasiphae plus 25 HC, first published by Matisse's heirs in 1981. All the blocks were cancelled after printing. With the estate blindstamp. Montherlant, a close friend of Matisse's, was a distinguished novelist and critic; Matisse collaborated with him on Pasiphae. Image size: 245x182mm. Price: $3000.
Untitled / Pasiphae (Fribourg 16, Musée Matisse Livres, p. 36). Original linogravure, 1944. 100 numbered impressions (of which ours is 26/100) for Gravures originales sur la theme de Pasiphae plus 25 HC, first published by Matisse's heirs in 1981. All the blocks were cancelled after printing. With the estate blindstamp. This linogravure relates to the following passage in the text pages: "Dors, dormouse aux longs cils" (Sleep, sleeper with long eyelashes). Image size: 245x182mm. Price: $4000.
Nude (Fribourg 16, Musée Matisse Livres, p. 36). Original linogravure, 1944. 100 numbered impressions for Gravures originales sur la theme de Pasiphae plus 25 HC, first published by Matisse's heirs in 1981. All the blocks were cancelled after printing. With the estate blindstamp. Image size: 245x182mm. Price: SOLD.
A l'amitie / To friendship (D. 31, Musee Matisse, p. 68). Original aquatint, 1951-52. 3 signed and 330 unsigned impressions for Andre Rouveyre's Apollinaire. Illustrated in Matisse Prints from the Museum of Modern Art and in Matisse: L'Art du Livre (Nice: Musee Matisse, 1986), p. 71. This aquatint served as the frontispiece; the remaining illustrations in the work were all lithographs. Image size: 328x251mm. Price: $3150.
Matisse began talking about making a selection of poems from Ronsard's Amours in the later 1930s and worked on them on and off for over 10 years, during which he was delayed by serious medical problems, the German invasion of France, which required Matisse to relocate from Paris to Nice, and problems with two publishers, Editions des XXX, a French biblipophille society, and Albert Skira, who was based in Switzerland. Matisse promised the Florilège des Amours de Ronsard to Editions des XXX, put it off from year to year, and promised Skira a volume of Mémoires. While recovering from his surgery for stomach cancer, he suggested substituting a volume of illustrations to the Ronsard love poems to Skira, forgetting he had already signed a contract for this with Editions des XXX. Skira happily accepted his suggestion, and when Matisse remembered his prior contract, he proposed to them instead a volume of illustrations to Baudelaire's Les Fleurs de Mal, for which he ultimately provided 1 etching, 33 photo-lithographs, with 69 ornaments engraved on wood by Théo Schmied after Matisse's drawings and which was published in 1947 by La Bibliothèque Françoise! The Ronsard, meanwhile, kept on growing, and Matisse ended up creating 126 lithographs in bistre (2 for the cover, 1 as a frontispiece, 21 hors-text, and 128 in text) printed on vélin teinté pur chiffon Arches paper measuring 390x282mm. He also selected the poems, made the maquet for the book, selelcted the paper and the typeface! For full information, see Matisse: L’Art du Livre (Nice: Cahiers Henri Matisse 3, Musee Matisse, 1986), which describes the project and provides illustrations from it on pages 58-62 and Henri Matisse: Gravures et lithographies (Fribourg: Musée d’art et d’histoire, 1982), which lists the Florilège des Amours de Ronsard on p. 203 as book #10 (this is regarded as the most authoritative work on Matisse’s prints after the catalogue raisonné of Matisse’s Oeuvre Gravé. There is also a reduced-size (280x200mm) facsimilé published in 1974.
Justification page for Florilège des Amours de Ronsard (Paris: Albert Skira, 1948). The edition was printed on loose shhets and published in a portfolio. There were 320 portfolios signed by the artist and the publisher as follows: 20 portfolios numbered from 1 to 20 with a suite of 12 lithographs called "pierres refusées on japon imperial and 8 variant lithographs of the illustrations of the poem, "Marie, qui voudroit," all on Japon imperial numbered and monogrammed by the artist; 30 portfolios numbered from 21 to 50 with a suite of 8 variant lithographs of the illustrations of the poem, "Marie, qui voudroit," on Japon imperial numbered and monogrammed by the artist; 250 numbered from 51 to 300 Arches paper, and 20 portfolios HC numbered from HC I to HC XX. Our reproduction of the justification page (at left) is taken from the reduced-size facsimile; the lithographs pictured below are, of course, from the original edition.
Walking woman for Florilège des Amours de Ronsard (Paris: Albert Skira, 1948). The edition was printed on loose sheets and published in a portfolio. There were 320 impressions on Arches paper. One of the most beautiful lithographs in the collection. Image size: 220x245mm. Sheet size: 390x282mm. Price: $4500.

The four lines of text under this lithograph are descriptive:
"Voicy le bois, que ma sainte Angelette
Sur le printemps enchante de son chant
Voicy les fleurs que son pied va marchant,
Quand à soymesme elle pense seulette"

This is the wood that my holy little angel enchants with her song in the spring, these are the flowers that her feet trod upon when to herself she thought alone.
Walking woman for Florilège des Amours de Ronsard (Paris: Albert Skira, 1948). The edition was printed on loose sheets and published in a portfolio. There were 320 impressions on Arches paper. One of the most beautiful lithographs in the collection. Image size: 220x245mm. Sheet size: 390x282mm. Price: $4500.
Chanson V for Florilège des Amours de Ronsard (Paris: Albert Skira, 1948). The edition was printed on loose sheets and published in a portfolio. There were 320 impressions on Arches paper. This is one of the 21 hors-text lithographs that use the entire sheet of heavy handmade paper. One of Matisse's most charming and seductive portrayals of the effortless charm and beauty of women. Image size: 390x282mm. Price: $5000.
Chanson III: XXIII for Florilège des Amours de Ronsard (Paris: Albert Skira, 1948). The edition was printed on loose sheets and published in a portfolio. There were 320 impressions on Arches paper. This is a hors-text litho apart from the 21 hors-text lithographs that use the entire sheet of heavy handmade paper. In the regular edition, this is part of a text page (p. 136) on white Arches paper, but this is clearly distinct from the regular edition (see above): it is printed in reddish-brown ink on gray paper with a watermark on the lower left corner of a man's face in profile and the word "Ronsard." It is also smaller than the regular text pages (374x282mm). Unhappily, at some point it was matted so that part of the paper was covered and what was uncovered was bleached by the sun. It would seem the better part of wisdom to enjoy it for what it now is and not mourn for what it formerly was, and we have matted it accordingly (see below). Sight size: 250x264mm. Price: $1500.
Chanson III: XXIII for Florilège des Amours de Ronsard (Paris: Albert Skira, 1948). The edition was printed on loose sheets and published in a portfolio. There were 320 impressions on Arches paper. Our impression is a proof aside from the edition, probably in a very limited printing, possibly, a working proof. Sight size: 250x264mm. Sheet size: 374x282mm. Price: $1500.

Spaightwood Galleries, Inc.

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Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Prints and Drawings: Prints by Pierre Bonnard, Georges Braque,
Charles Camoin, Mary Cassatt, Paul Cezanne, Henri Edmond Cross, Edgar Degas, Sonia Delaunay,
Maurice Denis, André Derain, Susanne Duchamp, Raoul Dufy, Jean-Louis Forain, Paul Gauguin,
Marie Laurencin, Edouard Manet, Henri Matisse, Berthé Morisot, Pablo Picasso, Pierre Auguste Renoir,
Georges Rouault, Ker Xavier Roussel, Paul Signac, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Suzanne Valadon,
Maurice de Vlaminck, James A. McNeill Whistler, and others.

Drawings by Albert Besnard, Andre Barbier, Henri Edmond Cross, Jean-Louis Forain, Eva Gonzales,
Marie Laurencin, Maximilien Luce, and Georges Rouault.

Hand-colored prints by Mary Cassatt, Marc Chagall, Sonja Delaunay, Fernand Léger, Joan Miró,
Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso.

For a review of the show that concludes, "Art exhibits in Madison rarely get this good," click review.