The mythological Icarus famously tried to fly, but got too close to the sun and his wings melted. This black cut-out figure of Icarus is against a royal blue night-time sky with yellow stars. Maquette of Plate VIII from the illustrated book, Jazz.
Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs
43.4 x 34.1 cm
Gouache on paper, cut and pasted, mounted on canvas
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.