The Last Works of Henri Matisse. 1950-54.
Texts by Pierre Reverdy and by Georges Duthuit.New York : 1958 Stock Code: 139174
NotesFirst edition in English, following publication in France that year as issues 35 and 36 of Verve. Before his death in 1954, Matisse forbade the reproduction of his recent works. His wish was that instead all the works would appear in one volume, as a comprehensive manifestation of this final artistic period. Matisse designed the cover himself, and the initial lithographic plates were executed under his own direction shortly before his death, the following plates under the supervision of his friend and publisher, Tériade. The illustrations are remarkably well executed, with the lithographic plates printed by Mourlot Frères in 15 to 20 impressions of colour, and the monochrome heliogravure plates printed by the master printer Draeger Frères. The introductory texts are by the French poet Pierre Reverdy, and by Matisse's son-in-law, George Duthuit, eminent art critic. Overall an excellent homage to the final years of the artist, and very much an artist's book despite its posthumous publication, conceived and overseen by Matisse even as he was close to death. "Here, then, is the closing testament of one of the absolute masters of modern art" (jacket front flap).
Quarto. Original orange paper-covered boards, with a design by Matisse. With the dust jacket reproducing the design.
Illustrated throughout, in colour and in black and white (many folding out or double page), with both lithographic and monochrome heliogravure plates.
Light wear to extremities, slight foxing to endpapers and edges but contents and illustrations clean. A very good copy in the good jacket, chipped and worn but still holding without repair, new price in pen to front flap.
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