Matisse – Etudes


Henri Matisse (1869-1954), Etudes, 1932, etching in black on grey/tan Chine-collé on heavy cream wove, signed and titled in pencil lower right. Reference:  Duthuit Books p. 33 (Studies for Matisse’s illustration designs for Stéphane Mallarmé’s Poésies). In very good condition, the full sheet, 9 1/2 x 5 1/2, the sheet 14 1/4 x 11 3/4 inches.

A fine impression of this rare page of studies. The sheet consists of a half-dozen nudes in various degrees of definition, and two portraits at the lower left, one a face, the other a woman in a hat and dress with a fan (in the final book the woman with the fan is featured alone in a similar posture, but in reverse).

Poetry was an important source of inspiration for Matisse, and for years he maintained the practice of reading poetry early each day before he raised a paint brush, pencil or etching needle.  In his lifetime he produced a number of illustrated books which were known as “livre d’artiste” (artist’s book);  Poésies, of 1932, with mythologically inspired images based on texts by Stéphane Mallarmé, was his first such venture.