A Life of Henri Matisse
Hilary Spurling presents a thorough and riveting account of Matisse's early life.
Hilary Spurling presents a thorough and riveting account of Matisse's early life, from his beginnings as the son of shopkeepers in Flanders through his impoverished days as a student at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Tracing Matisse's life through his thirties, Spurling describes how the artist's stubborn northern temperament helped sustain him through many challenges, both artistic and financial, as he found his way as a painter.
“If my story were ever to be written down truthfully from start to finish, it would amaze everyone,” wrote Henri Matisse. It is hard to believe today that Matisse, whose exhibitions draw huge crowds worldwide, was once almost universally reviled and ridiculed. His response was neither to protest nor to retreat; he simply pushed on from one innovation to the next, and left the world to draw its own conclusions. Unfortunately, these were generally false and often damaging. Throughout his life and afterward people fantasized about his models and circulated baseless fabrications about his private life.
Fifty years after his death, Matisse the Master (the second half of the biography that began with the acclaimed The Unknown Matisse) shows us the painter as he saw himself. With unprecedented and unrestricted access to his voluminous family correspondence, and other new material in private archives, Hilary Spurling documents a lifetime of desperation and…[more]