Henri Matisse – The Cut-Outs

20 June 2014

Henri Matisse was born in 1869 in Le Cateau, France and is regarded by many as one of the greatest figures in modern art. In his final years he embarked upon what is now considered to be some of his most original work using brightly coloured cut-out paper shapes arranged into both semi figurative and pure abstract patterns.

Despite his illness Matisse found this new way of working liberating and was reinvigorated by the process. He said: ‘A pair of scissors is a…wonderful instrument…Working with scissors in this paper is an occupation I can lose myself in….My pleasure in cutting things out grows ever greater. Why didn’t I think of it earlier? More and more, I feel that one can express with the simplest cut-out what one might want to express as a draughtsman or painter…..By entering into the object one comes into one’s own.’

As his last project, Matisse worked with the famous French lithographers Mourlot Freres to reinterpret the cut-outs as original lithographs.

A suite of 39 images was printed from the stone blocks at the Paris atelier. Matisse personally directed and supervised the first ‘pulls’ of the lithographs shortly before his death in 1954. We have recently acquired a complete suite of the 39 original lithographs which are now available for sale. Framed prices from £295 to £950.

View Henri Matisse artwork.