on 6 December 2002
I noticed that this just came back into print in November 2002, so I wanted to 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 uses 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 for the layperson. They seem soothing and simple. Well, after reading this wonderful book you will still find the paintings to be 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.