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Last updated: 8-24-12
Home / Gallery Tour 1 / Fauves / Gallery Tour 2 / Artists

Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954): Lithographs after paper-cutouts

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
Matisse's later years were in part defined by his physical condition. Trapped, fopr the most part, in a wheelchais as a result of surgery for stomach cancer, Matisse was largely confined to art that could be made sitting down: drawings, paper cutouts, and designs for larger projects. The pieces below began life as sheets of paper that Matisse hand-cut and hand-painted. He then directed his assistants where to post them on large sheets of paper. For an issue of Verve devoted to his later works, Matisse supervised the production of lithographs after his paper cutouts. About half-way through the project, Matisse died and the works were printed as lithographs after the paper cut outs in a special issue of Verve entitled Les Derniers Oeuvres de Matisse and published in 1956. The ones that were produced before his death bear his signature in the stone; those after, lack it.
Femme bleue et verte / Blue nude with green stockings. Color lithograph after a paper cut-out and gouache, 1952. Published in the deluxe art review, Verve. This work was produced undere Matisse's supervision for a special issue of Verve dedicated to Matisse's paper cut-outs. He died before the work was published and the volume then became a tribute to Matisse, Les Dernieres Oeuvres de Matisse. Image size: 355x260mm. Price: $775.
Femme bleue / Blue nude skipping rope. Color lithograph after a paper cut-out and gouache, 1952. Published in the deluxe art review, Verve. This work was produced undere Matisse's supervision for a special issue of Verve dedicated to Matisse's paper cut-outs. He died before the work was published and the volume then became a tribute to Matisse, Les Dernieres Oeuvres de Matisse. Reproduced on the rear cover of the Museum of Modern Art's catalog, The Last Works of Matisse in 1961. Image size: 355x260mm. Price: $775.
During our stay in Paris at the end of May and the beginning of June, Sonja and I were fortunate enough to be able to see a wonderful show at the Centre Pompidou, Matisse Paires et Séries. From the beginning of his career until almost its end, Matisse seems to have worked simultaneously on at least two versions of many of his paintings and drawings, one "simple" and one more "complex." As we walked through the show, debating the merits of each pair or group, we tended to favor the less complex, but with exceptions. Then we came to the last four pieces in the show, the four Seated Blue Nudes directly below. Suddenly the debate was over: these four pieces, in their simplicity achieved a kind of transcendent complexity beyond which, at least in the opinion of the show's organizers (and, it seemed, from the responses of many of the people we observed in the 45 minutes we spent with them) most of its viewers, one could not go. The pieces on the wall were not the pieces below, but were instead larger (c. 46x39 inches) hand-painted paper-cutouts assembled into the compositions we see by his assistants while he directed them with a long pole. But the pieces below were approved by Matisse before he died as representations of the larger works and convey the freedom, and joy of the works, and perhaps even the triumph of eye and mind over body.

In the issue of Connaissance des arts (hors-serie) devoted to Matisse Paires et Séries, the first of the series gets a full-page illustrations and the second and third share a page with the text.
Femme bleue assise 1 / Seated blue nude 1. Color lithograph after a paper cut-out and gouache, 1952. Published in the deluxe art review, Verve. This work was produced undere Matisse's supervision for a special issue of Verve dedicated to Matisse's paper cut-outs. He died before the work was published and the volume then became a tribute to Matisse, Les Dernieres Oeuvres de Matisse. Signed in the stone. Image size: 355x260mm. Price: $775.

When we were in Paris in June 2012, the paper cut-outs for the Seated Blue Nudes were on display at the Pompidou Center in a Matisse show. The lithos, though much smaller, give a fiathful account of Matisse's originals.

The blues in the four seated blue nudes are the same as in Femme bleue assise 2 / Seated Blue Nude 2, and the paper is a uniform bright white.
Femme bleue assise 2 / Seated Blue Nude 2. Color lithograph after a paper cut-out and gouache, 1952. Published in the deluxe art review, Verve. This work was produced undere Matisse's supervision for a special issue of Verve dedicated to Matisse's paper cut-outs. He died before the work was published and the volume then became a tribute to Matisse, Les Dernieres Oeuvres de Matisse. Signed in the stone. Image size: 355x260mm. Price: $775.

The blues in the four seated blue nudes are the same as in this one, and the paper is a uniform bright white.
Femme bleue assise 3 / Seated Blue Nude 3. Color lithograph after a paper cut-out and gouache, 1952. Published in the deluxe art review, Verve. This work was produced undere Matisse's supervision for a special issue of Verve dedicated to Matisse's paper cut-outs. He died before the work was published and the volume then became a tribute to Matisse, Les Dernieres Oeuvres de Matisse. Signed in the stone. Image size: 355x260mm. Price: $775.

The blues in the four seated blue nudes are the same as in Femme bleue assise 2 / Seated Blue Nude 2, and the paper is a uniform bright white.
Femme bleue assise 4 / Seated Blue Nude 4. Color lithograph after a paper cut-out and gouache, 1952. Published in the deluxe art review, Verve. This work was produced undere Matisse's supervision for a special issue of Verve dedicated to Matisse's paper cut-outs. He died before the work was published and the volume then became a tribute to Matisse, Les Dernieres Oeuvres de Matisse. Signed in the stone. Image size: 355x260mm. Price: $775.

The blues in the four seated blue nudes are the same as in Femme bleue assise 2 / Seated Blue Nude 2, and the paper is a uniform bright white.
Femme bleue assise sur jaune/ Blue nude: The frog. Color lithograph after a paper cut-out and gouache, 1952. Published in the deluxe art review, Verve. This work was produced undere Matisse's supervision for a special issue of Verve dedicated to Matisse's paper cut-outs. He died before the work was published and the volume then became a tribute to Matisse, Les Dernieres Oeuvres de Matisse. Initialed in the stone. Image size: 355x260mm. Price: $775.
Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954), Danseuse Bleue. Color lithograph after a paper cut-out and gouache, 1952. Published in the deluxe art review, Verve. This work was published in a special issue of Verve dedicated to Matisse's paper cut-outs. He died before the work was published and the volume then became a tribute to Matisse, Les Dernieres Oeuvres de Matisse. Produced under Matisse's supervision, signed & dated 1952 in the stone. Image size: 355x260mm. Price: $875.
Woman with amphora and pomegranates. Color lithograph after a paper cut-out and gouache, 1952. Published in the deluxe art review, Verve. This work was produced undere Matisse's supervision for a special issue of Verve dedicated to Matisse's paper cut-outs. He died before the work was published and the volume then became a tribute to Matisse, Les Dernieres Oeuvres de Matisse. Image size: 355x260mm. Price: $775.
Woman with amphora. Color lithograph after a paper cut-out and gouache, 1952. Published in the deluxe art review, Verve. This work was produced undere Matisse's supervision for a special issue of Verve dedicated to Matisse's paper cut-outs. He died before the work was published and the volume then became a tribute to Matisse, Les Dernieres Oeuvres de Matisse. Image size: 355x260mm. Price: $775.
Venus. Color lithograph after a paper cut-out and gouache, 1952. Published in the deluxe art review, Verve. This work was produced undere Matisse's supervision for a special issue of Verve dedicated to Matisse's paper cut-outs. He died before the work was published and the volume then became a tribute to Matisse, Les Dernieres Oeuvres de Matisse. Reproduced on the front cover of the Museum of Modern Art's catalog, The Last Works of Matisse in 1961. Image size: 355x260mm. Price: $775.

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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, Pauk 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.