Matisse the Master

I’m a huge fan of Henri Matisse as evidenced by this set of leather pillows I made for a friend:

hence this mention of an article from last thursday’s edition of WWD detailing the upcoming publication of the second part of Matisse’s biography by Hilary Spurling. The book is entitled Matisse the Master and will be published by Knopf. From Women’s Wear Daily:

LONDON – If there was ever an artist in need of a spin doctor, it was Henri Matisse, who was maligned and misunderstood during his lifetime and for decades after his death.

Then his biographer Hilary Spurling came along and helped shift many of the perceptions of Matisse, especially in Europe. Spurling won rave reviews for her first volume of Matisse’s biography, “The Unknown Matisse: The Early Years 1869-1908.” The second volume, “Matisse The Master: The Conquest of Colour 1909-1954” (Alfred A. Knopf), has won equally fulsome praise in England, and is set for its U.S. debut this fall.

Her latest work tracks Matisse’s career and examines his close friendship with Pablo Picasso, his dramatic family dynamics and the relationships with his Russian models Olga Meerson and Lydia Delectorskaya. Spurling, Matisse’s only biographer, relied heavily on her exclusive and unrestricted access to decades of correspondence between Matisse and his friends and family.

Get New Posts by Email


  1. Jan d'Heurle says:

    I just read the article/review in The New Yorker on this biography and was glad to see it. I lived in Baltimore for a number of years right across the street from the art museum which always displayed a number of works by Matisse collected by the Cone sisters (including a furnished room from the sisters’ house). It took me a while to appreciate them, but I now consider Matisse the artist of the future. Bravo.

  2. Adrianne says:

    Regarding your interest in Matisse and the post of Jan d’Heurle: The Cone Collection at the Baltimore Museum of Art has recently been reinstalled. The wonderful Matisse canvases still have pride of place but the furnished room has been expanded and reinterpreted a bit. Now you can see more of the textiles the Cone sisters’ collected ofer their travels. Interesting to find others so moved by both Matisse and fabric!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.