"MATISSE WAS EVOLVING METHODS HE WOULD USE FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE": CINQUANTE DESSINS, 1920, WITH A LOVELY ORIGINAL ETCHING SIGNED BY MATISSE, A STUNNING COPY
MATISSE, Henri. Cinquante Dessins. Paris: Les Soins de l'Artiste, 1920. Quarto, original printed paper wrappers, uncut and partially unopened; original glassine wrapper. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $8500.
First edition, number 865 of only 1000 copies with a lovely original etching by Matisse of a woman's face, entitled "Mlle. M.M," signed by him.
Matisse himself edited and printed this lovely suite of 50 photo-lithographic reproductions of his drawings of women to accompany a 1920 exhibition of his work. "Daily painting sessions alternated with hours on end devoted to drawing, a corrective Matisse would use from now on whenever he felt his work was in danger of losing its balance between color and feeling on the one hand, and line and form on the other… He returned over and over again to a lace collar, drawing it first in minute detail until he had got it by heart and could translated it at will with two swift lines 'into an ornament, an arabesque, without losing the character of lace, and of that particular lace'… Matisse was evolving methods he would use for the rest of his life. He published fifty of these drawings in a portfolio called Cinquante Dessins to coincide with his exhibition at Bernheim-Jeune in 1920. A surge of renewed energy pulses between the lines of the letters he wrote home as he drew them" (Spurling, Matisse the Master, 225-26). Preface by Charles Vildrac. Text in French. Duthuit 68.
Mild toning to wrapper edges. A fine copy.