The abstracted "Snow Flowers" are a mixture of white plant and petal forms, placed against a patchwork of bold colour. Although they appear to be imaginary, one small plant growing up from the bottom centre edge suggests that Matisse's title and his shapes were inspired by the snowdrop.
Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs
174 x 80.6 cm
Gouache on paper, cut and pasted
Date of work
A French painter, draughtsman, sculptor, printmaker, designer and writer, Henri Matisse came to art comparatively late and made his reputation as the principal protagonist of Fauvism. He went on to develop a monumental decorative art, innovative both in its treatment of the human figure and in the role accorded to colour. His long career culminated in a highly original series of works made of paper cut-outs or gouaches découpées, which confirmed his reputation, with Picasso, as one of the major artists of the 20th century.