A Great French Painter, Henri Matisse
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Documenting Changes

In April 1946, Matisse collaborated with the director François Campaux, sending him biographical information for a documentary. The 26-minute film, shot in Vence and Paris, records the Issy studio where the artist made some of the greatest works of the 1913–17 period and also explores fascinating aspects of his working processes. Although they show the artist at a later period, the short passages of Matisse painting and drawing offer a rare opportunity to appreciate some of the way he made works from the 1913–17 period examined in this exhibition. Matisse shows a similar exacting concern for the essential form of a composition and its placement on a canvas or sheet; and demonstrates a continuing fascination with the evolution of his work and its documentation through many states.

A Great French Painter, Henri Matisse, a film written and directed by François Campaux, 1946


Matisse’s home and studio in Issy-les-Moulineaux, with his son Jean working on a sculpture of his own.

Matisse making a succession of portrait drawings of his grandson Gerard at his home and studio in Nice.

Photographic documentation of the evolution of two works, The Rumanian Blouse (1941) and Still Life with Magnolia (1941), both in the collection of the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris.

Matisse painting Young Woman in White, Red Background (1946; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris).

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