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 shows pink, white black and green frond-like shapes. Maquette for Plate XVII from the illustrated book, Jazz.
Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs
44 x 66.3 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.