Description : "Hilary Spurling's THE UNKNOWN MATISSE is a truly wonderful biography. Her prose is muscular, rhythmical, carrying a lot of information, yet swift, enthralling. She has done for Matisse what George Painter famously did for Proust in the 1950s. Besides being a first-rate scholar, she is an artist in narrative who has unearthed a fascinating story and told it brilliantly. I rate this first volume with the first volume of Richard Holmes's COLERIDGE . Both books mark a climax in what has been called a golden age of modern biography which began with Richard Ellman's JAMES JOYCE. It is a terrific achievement." Michael Holroyd
Description : The art, youth, early maturity and life of artist Henri Matisse are thoroughly examined in this biography that also includes 24 pages of color reproductions. Henri Matisse is one of the masters of twentieth-century art and a household word to millions of people who find joy and meaning in his light-filled, colorful images-yet, despite all the books devoted to his work, the man himself has remained a mystery. Now, in the hands of the superb biographer Hilary Spurling, the unknown Matisse becomes visible at last. Matisse was born into a family of shopkeepers in 1869, in a gloomy textile town in the north of France. His environment was brightened only by the sumptuous fabrics produced by the local weavers-magnificent brocades and silks that offered Matisse his first vision of light and color, and which later became a familiar motif in his paintings. He did not find his artistic vocation until after leaving school, when he struggled for years with his father, who wanted him to take over the family seed-store. Escaping to Paris, where he was scorned by the French art establishment, Matisse lived for fifteen years in great poverty, an ordeal he shared with other young artists and with Camille Joblaud, the mother of his daughter, Marguerite. But Matisse never gave up. Painting by painting, he struggled toward the revelation that beckoned to him, learning about color, light, and form from such mentors as Signac, Pissarro, and the Australian painter John Peter Russell, who ruled his own art colony on an island off the coast of Brittany. In 1898, after a dramatic parting from Joblaud, Matisse met and married Amele Parayre, who became his staunchest ally. She and their two sons, Jean and Pierre, formed with Marguerite his indispensable intimate circle. From the first day of his wedding trip to Ajaccio in Corsica, Matisse realized that he had found his spiritual home: the south, with its heat, color, and clear light. For years he worked unceasingly toward the style by which we know him now. But in 1902, just as he was on the point of achieving his goals as a painter, he suddenly left Paris with his family for the hometown he detested, and returned to the somber, muted palette he had so recently discarded. Why did this happen? Art historians have called this regression Matisse's "dark period," but none have ever guessed the reason for it. What Hilary Spurling has uncovered is nothing less than the involvement of Matisse's in-laws, the Parayres, in a monumental scandal which threatened to topple the banking system and government of France. The authorities, reeling from the divisive Dreyfus case, smoothed over the so-called Humbert Affair, and did it so well that the story of this twenty-year scam, and the humiliation and ruin its climax brought down on the unsuspecting Matisse and his family, have been erased from memory until now. It took many months for Matisse to come to terms with this disgrace, and nearly as long to return to the bold course he had been pursuing before the interruption. What lay ahead were the summers in St-Tropez and Collioure; the outpouring of "Fauve" paintings; Matisse's experiments with sculpture; and the beginnings of acceptance by dealers and collectors, which, by 1908, put his life on a more secure footing. Hilary Spurling's discovery of the Humbert Affair and its effects on Matisse's health and work is an extraordinary revelation, but it is only one aspect of her achievement. She enters into Matisse's struggle for expression and his tenacious progress from his northern origins to the life-giving light of the Mediterranean with rare sensitivity. She brings to her task an astonishing breadth of knowledge about his family, about fin-de-siecle Paris, the conventional Salon painters who shut their doors on him, his artistic comrades, his early patrons, and his incipient rivalry with Picasso. In Hilary Spurling, Matisse has found a biographer with a detective's ability to unearth crucial facts, the narrative power of a novelist, and profound empathy for her subject. Oxford-educated journalist Spurling uncovers the involvement of Matisse's in-laws in a monumental financial scandal, describing how it affected his health and how it led to his "dark period". Her examination of Matisse's artistic and career progression is informed by an astonishing breadth of knowledge about his family, fin-de- siecle Paris, the conventional Salon painters who shut their doors on him, his artistic comrades, his early patrons, and his rivalry with Picasso.
Description : From his beginnings as the son of shopkeepers in Flanders through his impoverished days as a student, Spurling traces Matisse's life through his 30s in this thorough and riveting biography. 35 color & 152 b&w illustrations.
Description : For more than 50 years the passionate pursuit of color led Henri Matisse to visit some of the most enchanting villages in southern France. Travelers and art lovers will delight in this mix of art, history, biography, and travel guide that covers southern France and explores the teal skies, emerald hills, red soil, and indigo seas beloved by the artist. The journey begins in Paris and then moves to the fashionable port of St. Tropez, the fishing village of Collioure, chic and voluptuous Nice, and the rustic refuge of Vence, and ends in the luxurious resort of Cimiez. The author identifies the villas and studios where Matisse lived and worked in each location and discusses how his art responded to the palette and ambience of each local landscape.
Description : Chronicles the later years of the influential artist, interweaving analyses of his work with a study of Matisse's relationships with family and friends, trips around the world, the women in his life, and the continuing influences on the evolution of his a
Description : Throughout his career, Henri Matisse used imagery as a means of engaging critically with poetry and prose by a diverse range of authors. Kathryn Brown offers a groundbreaking account of Matisse's position in the literary cross-currents of 20th-century France and explores ways in which reading influenced the artist's work in a range of media. This study argues that the livre d'artiste became the privileged means by which Matisse enfolded literature into his own idiom and demonstrated the centrality of his aesthetic to modernist debates about authorship and creativity. By tracing the compositional and interpretive choices that Matisse made as a painter, print maker, and reader in the field of book production, this study offers a new theoretical account of visual art's capacity to function as a form of literary criticism and extends debates about the gendering of 20th-century bibliophilia. Brown also demonstrates the importance of Matisse's self-placement in relation to the French literary canon in the charged political climate of the Second World War and its aftermath. Through a combination of archival resources, art history, and literary criticism, this study offers a new interpretation of Matisse's artist's books and will be of interest to art historians, literary scholars, and researchers in book history and modernism.
Description : Who hasn't had the fanthasy of leaving his or her old life behind to start over? What would happen if you gave up your job, city, state, and routine to move to another part of the world? Critically acclaimed writer and aspiring painter James Morgan does just that. Risking everything, he and his wife shed their old, settled life in a lovingly restored house in Little Rock, Arkansas, to travel in the footsteps of Morgan's hero, the painter Henri Matisse, and to find inspiration in Matisse's fierce struggle to live the life he knew he had to live. Part memoir, part travelogue, and part biography of Matisse, Chasing Matisse proves that you don't have to be wealthy to live the life you want; you just have to want it enough. Morgan's riveting journey of self-discovery takes him, and us, from the earthy, brooding Picardy of Matisse's youth all the way to the luminous Nice of the painter's final years. In between, Morgan confronts, with the notebook of a journalist and the sketchpad of an artist, the places that Matisse himself saw and painted: bustling, romantic Paris; windswept Belle-île off the Brittany coast; Corsica, with its blazing southern light; the Pyrénees village of Collouire, where color became explosive in Matisse's hands; exotic Morocco, land of the secret interior life; and across the sybaritic French Riviera to spiritual Vence and the hillside Villa Le Rêve -- the Dream -- where the mature artist created so many of his masterpieces. A journey from darkness to light, Chasing Matisse shows us how we can learn to see ourselves, others, and the world with fresh eyes. We look with Morgan out of some of the same windows through which Matisse himself found his subjects and take great heart from Matisse's indomitable, life-affirming spirit. For Matisse, living was an art, and he never stopped striving, never stopped creating, never stopped growing, never stopped reinventing himself. "The artist," he said, "must look at everything as though he were seeing it for the first time." That's the inspiring message of renewal that comes through on every page of Chasing Matisse. Funny, sad, and defiantly hopeful, this is a book that restores our faith in the possibility of dreams.
Description : HENRI MATISSE, one of the greatest innovators of twentieth-century painting, was an intensely private person.It was not until half a century after his death that Hilary Spurling's two-part biography cleared away the fog of inaccurate guesswork and gossip that obscured both the man and at times his work. Matisse: The Life contains the pith of those two volumes, universally acclaimed for their revelatory insight, meticulous scholarship and brilliant storytelling. This new, one-volume edition centres on the ferocious struggles that underlay the radiant serenity of Matisse's work, and traces their intimate connection to the personal disasters that beset him, his family and his country through two world wars.This is, in the author's own words, the 'short, sharp, clear portrait I should have liked to write in the first place'. PRAISE FOR THE UNKNOWN MATISSE 'A marvellous sunburst of a biography' Richard Holmes, Daily Telegraph 'Reveals a personality - and a personal history - none of us had guessed at' Richard Dorment, The New York Review of Books 'Matisse is truly amazing, and it is an amazing story . . . Outstanding' Philip Hensher, Spectator PRAISE FOR MATISSE THE MASTER 'A true biographical masterpiece' Mark Bostridge, Independent on Sunday 'An outstanding biography, as full of insight into the pictures as it is revealing about the man' Jeanette Winterson, The Times 'As dazzling as its subject . . . superb' Peter Conrad, Observer
Description : For the past century psychoanalysts have attempted to understand the psychology of art, artists and aesthetic experience. This book examines how contemporary psychoanalytic theory provides insight into understanding the psychological sources of creativity, Modern Art and modern artists. The Artist’s Mind revisits the lives of eight modern artists including Henri Matisse, Marcel Duchamp, Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol, from a psychoanalytical viewpoint. It looks at how opportunities for a new approach to art at the turn of the twentieth century offered artists a chance to explore different forms of creativity and artistic ambition. Key areas of discussion include: developmental sources of the aesthetic sense psychological functions of creativity and art psychology of beauty, ugliness and the Sublime. co-evolution of the modern self, modernism and art. cultural context of creativity, artistic identify and aesthetic experience. Through the examination of great artists’ lives and psychological dynamics, the author articulates a new psychoanalytic aesthetic model that has both clinical and historical significance. As such this book is essential reading for all those with an interest in the origins and fate of Modern Art.
Description : Most of us struggle with distraction every day: the familiar feeling that our attention is not quite where it should be. We feel it at work and at home and it can be frustrating and uncomfortable. But what is distraction? In his lucid, timely book, Damon Young shows that distraction is more than too many stimuli, or too little attention. It is actually a matter of value - to be distracted is to be torn away from what is worthwhile in life. And for Young, what is most worthwhile is freedom: not simply rights or legal liberties, but the capacity to patiently, creatively craft one's own life. Exploring the lives of such luminaries as Henri Matisse, Karl Marx, Seneca and Henry James, Young exposes distraction in work, technology, art, politics and intimacy. With warmth and wit, he reveals what is most valuable, and what is best avoided, in the pursuit of a life of one's own.