Matisse painted interiors almost throughout his long artistic life. Shirley Neilsen Blum has chosen to concentrate on his treatment of the window. Through this motif Matisse plays with notions of inside and outside, flatness and depth, realistic illusion and abstract design. Only through seeing so many examples from all stages of his career gathered together does the viewer form some idea of how subtle are the artist's variations on this apparently simple idea.
This large, almost square book is heavily illustrated - typically, a single illustration facing a corresponding page of text. 98 of the 129 illustrations are in colour: most of the remainder are reproductions of a selection of contemporary photographs that show Matisse in the context of the various living spaces he inhabited at different points in his life. Blum's text is informative without imposing on the reader's response to Matisse's art.
This is a beautiful book that is particularly good value at the low Amazon price. It may be particularly appreciated by the reader who is already appreciative of Matisse and now wants to delve a little deeper.
on 7 January 2011
This is a truly wonderful book, with something in it for every art lover, from beginner to connoisseur, even though the topic seems to be a relatively specialised one. The English version of the text is excellent, but the outstanding feature of the volume is the high quality of the reproductions, something that one does not necessarily get with all such large art books. Moreover the book is astonishingly good value. Strongly recommended in every respect!
on 27 July 2013
Beautiful book with fine colour reproductions.....essential when reproducing Matisse to pitch the colour as exactly as posssible as he was a supreme colourist. Some marvellous pictures that were new to me (as a painter who loves Matisse, thought I'd seen most of his works). The repeated theme of the window brings you very closely into the feel and ambience of Matisse's world- his work, his soul. A book with atmosphere to be treasured.