Henri Matisse - Etude pour Saint Dominique
Original Lithograph, 1950/51, on Chine applique paper overlaid on Arches watermarked paper, signed by the artist in pencil (after his health problems the “later” signature of Matisse is scraggy and uneven)
Size: Paper size : 292.1 x 203.2 mms, Image size : 189 x 163 mms
Reference: Duthuit-Garnaud 658
See Also: Henri Matisse “La Chapelle de Vence”: Journal d’une creation. This work is a lengthy dissertation on the entire project of the building of the Chapel.
Note: This work was amongst those made by Matisse whilst he worked on the huge project of designing the Chapelle of St Paul de Vence which was a commission for the Dominican Nuns. In 1942 Matisse was suffering from a grave sickness: Sister Jaques-Marie (Previously Monique Bourgeois), a young nurse looked after the artist as he made his recuperation. He suffered badly from insomnia and the Sister helped him at that time : they became very good friends. Later Sister Jacques-Marie made her vows to the Dominican order in 1946 and began again to see her friend Matisse. She spoke to him of the chapel in course of rebuilding. Later she introduced him to Brother Rayssiguer who was in charge of the project and the co-operation between the two men eventually resulted in a small masterpiece of Religious art and superlative architecture. Matisse was responsible for the frescoes on the walls, the design of all the interior furnishings and church furniture. Matisse worked for 4 years (1947 - 1951) on the project and he described it as “The Masterpiece of all my life”. The artist made a number of sketches on the theme of the Mother and Child and several lithographs were produced on the same theme of which ours is an example. These were sold by the Chappelle to raise funds and we are told that this is the original provenance of our piece. Matisse made several studies in lithographic form for this subject and a number of drawings. On a recent visit to the South of France the writer visited this wonderful chapel and bought some postcards of the various works in the bookshop. One of these illustrates our piece and is sold together with it.
Condition: The lower margin has been folded and leaves a crease some distance from the image and not visible under the mount. Small staining. Otherwise in good condition .