Directly related to his memories of Tahiti, Matisse described the three lagoon works in Jazz to his nurse, Lydia Delectorskaya: “simply the shimmering colours of the tropics, with animals or undulating forms, evocations of calm waters”. This image has robust shapes in blue, red, black and green. Maquette for Plate XIX from the illustrated book, Jazz.
Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs
44 x 67.1 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.