"MATISSE WAS EVOLVING METHODS HE WOULD USE FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE": First edition of Cinquante Dessins; with an original frontispiece etching signed by Matisse
Cinquante Dessins Par Henri Matisse.
Item Number: 101632
Paris: Les Soins de l'Artiste, 1920.
First edition of Matisse’s classic self-produced suite of 50 photo-lithographic reproductions of his drawings of women. Quarto, original wrappers as issued, with an original frontispiece etching of a woman’s face. One of only 1000 copies produced, this is number 908. Signed by Matisse below the original frontispiece etching, “Henri Matisse.” Fine in a fine dust jacket. Rare and desirable signed and in the original jacket.
Matisse himself edited and printed this exquisite suite of 50 photo-lithographic reproductions of his drawings of women to accompany a 1920 exhibition of his work. "Daily painting sessions alternated with hours on end devoted to drawing, a corrective Matisse would use from now on whenever he felt his work was in danger of losing its balance between color and feeling on the one hand, and line and form on the other… He returned over and over again to a lace collar, drawing it first in minute detail until he had got it by heart and could translated it at will with two swift lines 'into an ornament, an arabesque, without losing the character of lace, and of that particular lace'… Matisse was evolving methods he would use for the rest of his life. He published fifty of these drawings in a portfolio called Cinquante Dessins to coincide with his exhibition at Bernheim-Jeune in 1920. A surge of renewed energy pulses between the lines of the letters he wrote home as he drew them" (Spurling, 225-26).