Matisse: In Search of True Painting

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Henri Matisse, "Young Sailor I," 1906. and "Young Sailor II," 1906.


Throughout his long career, Henri Matisse (1869–1954) continually expanded the boundaries of his art. By repeating images in pairs, trios, and series, he conducted an ongoing dialogue with his earlier works in order to, as he put it, “push further and deeper into true painting.” From early pairs such as Young Sailor I and II (1906) and Le Luxe I and II (1907–8) through a trio of paintings from his stay on the Channel Coast (1920) to a series of studio scenes from Vence (1946–48), Matisse is shown analyzing a recently completed work before moving on to another with the same theme and thus devising innovative, often radical, solutions to such problems as how to portray light, handle paint, select colors, and manipulate perspective.


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