after Henri Matisse - La Chut d’ Icare


Lithograph in colours taken from a specially prepared cut-paper and gouache maquette and transferred to stone by the print studio. 1943/45, On pale cream light wove Marais paper, with the printed signature and date. The maquette made in summer 1943.

Printed by: Editions Verve. This appeared in volume . IV, No 13, 1945

Size: 355 x 265 mm

Edition: From a large edition of about 2000 pieces

Reference: Claude Duthuit: Henri Matisse, Catalogue Raisonne des ouvrages illustres : Number 74, page 363

Note 1: This bold and playful image is one of twenty plates Matisse created to illustrate his groundbreaking book "Jazz" and later copied for the work by Teriade in Verve. The illustrations derive from maquettes of cut and pasted coloured papers, which were then printed using a stencil technique known as "pochoir." Here, the mythological figure Icarus is presented in a simplified form floating against a royal blue night-time sky. Matisse's flat, abstracted forms and large areas of pure colour marked an important change in the direction of his later work and ultimately influenced "hard-edge" artists of the 1960s like Ellsworth Kelly. The piece appeared at a troubled period at the end of the second world war. Unlike others Matisse worked in bright colours with optimistic subjects. He seemed almost unaffected by the terrible events going on around him. In Greek Mythology Icarus succeeded in flying, with wings made by his father Daedalus, using feathers secured with wax. Ignoring his father's warnings, Icarus chose to fly too close to the sun, melting the wax, and fell into the sea and drowned.