I noticed that this is coming back into print in November 2002, so I figured I'd write this review. If you are a fan of Matisse, you should snap up this book. It is an awesome achievement by Mr. Schneider. There is a tremendous amount of biographical data here, as well as a wealth of reproductions- both color and black and white. One caveat, though. This is definitely not for the casual reader! There is a lot of detailed analysis of the paintings included- such things as Matisse's theories on the use of color and shape; the tremendous amount of work and thought that went into each work in order to create color harmony and a balance of all the pictorial elements, etc. Mr. Schneider respects the reader, so some of this stuff can be a real challenge! But I found it very worthwhile! Matisse's paintings are deceptive, at least to the layperson. They seem soothing and simple. Well, I can promise you that after reading this wonderful book you may still find the paintings soothing, but when you realize what went into the process of creating them you will never again think of them as being simple! This is one of those rare books that opens your eyes and makes you look at something in a completely new way.Reviewer Note: Please be aware that the book I am reviewing is the over 700 page book written by Pierre Schneider, NOT the much shorter book written by Mr. Jacobus and only translated by Mr. Schneider!