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Henri Matisse (1869-1954)
Henri Matisse (1869-1954)
Henri Matisse (1869-1954)
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Henri Matisse (1869-1954)
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Henri Matisse (1869-1954)


Henri Matisse (1869-1954)
the set of twenty pochoirs in colours, 1947, on Arches wove paper, a proof set aside from the edition of one hundred (there was also a book edition of 270), published by Tériade Editeur, Paris, without title page, justification, table of contents and portfolio, the full sheets, with deckle edges, the colours fresh and bright, the printed surfaces in very good condition, some sheets with pale time staining at the sheet edges and some pinpoint foxmarks, generally in very good condition, all framed
S. 423 x 653 mm. (and similar)
Efstratios Tériade.
Then by descent to Mme. Tériade, Paris.
with Galerie Berggruen, Paris.
with Frederick Mulder Ltd, London.
with John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco
with Vivian Horan Fine Art LLC, New York.
C. Duthuit, Henri Matisse - Catalogue raisonné des ouvrages illustrés, C. Duthuit, Paris, 1988, no. 22.
Special Notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
Sale Room Notice
Please note that the correct title for Plate XIII, is The Sword Swallower and not Icare as stated in the printed catalogue note.

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Katharine Cooke
Katharine Cooke

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Lot Essay

The present lot is a proof set, aside from the published portfolio edition of one hundred, with Plate XIII (The Sword Swallower) with the facsimile text which usually is only present in plates from the folded book edition. Proof sets such as the present one were presumably never accompanied by the title page, justification and table of contents.

Henri Matisse created Jazz towards the end of his life, when he was largely restricted to working from his bed - yet it is a glorious celebration of life, a riot of pure colours and playful forms.

The twenty pochoirs mark a radical new departure in Matisse's work. The maquettes for Jazz are amongst the first essays in a medium entirely of his own devising - the papiers découpés- which finally led him to abandon painting altogether in favour of this new and inventive mode. For Matisse, the technique of cutting shapes or 'signs' from brightly coloured sheets of paper finally closed the gap between line, form and colour - a divide he, as both a great colourist and passionate draughtsman, had always felt. The cut-outs at last linked 'drawing and colour in a single movement' (Matisse in an interview with André Lejard, Amis de l'Art, no. 2, October 1951).

Matisse had used a paper cut-out design in an early issue of VERVE but when Tériade first put forward the idea of an entire book using paper cut-out designs, Matisse initially refused. After some persuasion and further development of the technique, the artist was convinced and put the whole of his energy into the project, working on it over several months of intense and feverish creative activity between 1943-4.

Inspired by the circus, folk tales and exotic voyages, Matisse thought of his cut-outs as 'cristallisations de souvenirs' (D. Fourcade, Henri Matisse - Écrits et propos sur l'art, Paris, 1972). Originally titled Cirque, the improvised themes and compositional variations prompted the printer Tériade to suggest Jazz as an alternative title. When the book was published in 1947 it met with an unprecedented success: De tous les livres de Matisse, Jazz est sans aucun doute le plus important: il provoque une véritable révolution dans l'oeuvre de l'artiste et dans l'histoire de l'art contemporain (Michel Anthonioz, Hommage Tériade, Paris, 1973, p. 125).

Matisse insisted on printing Jazz using the same Linel gouache paints he had used to colour his paper cut-out maquettes. It is these intensely glowing colours, beautifully preserved in the present example, and the poetic and evocative, yet nearly abstract imagery which make Jazz one of the greatest and most influential print series of the 20th century.

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