Henri Matisse - Vierge et Enfant sur fond de fleurs et d’etoiles
Original Lithograph, 1950/51, on Chine appliqué paper overlaid on Arches watermarked paper, signed by the artist in pencil.
Size: Paper size : 43 x 37.5 cms ; Image size: 32.5 x 24.7 cms
Reference: Duthuit-Garnaud : Catalogure Raisonne 646
Provenance: Private Collection, New York.
Note: In 1941, Matisse, who lived most of the year in Nice in the south of France , developed cancer and underwent surgery. During the long recovery he was particularly helped by a young part-time nurse, Monique Bourgeois. In 1943 Bourgeois entered the Dominican convent in Vence, a nearby town, and became Sister Jacques-Marie. Matisse eventually bought a home at Vence, not far from the convent where the young nun was stationed. She visited him and told him of the plans the Dominicans had to build a chapel beside the girls' high school which they operated in Vence. She asked Matisse if he would help with the design of the chapel. He had never done anything like it, but Matisse, although he was an atheist, agreed to help, beginning in 1947. The artist not only designed the Chapel itself but the murals on the walls and the Ecclesiastical vestments. To raise further funding he created a small body of Lithographs which were sold to aid the project one of which was a depiction of the Virgin and Child - our present work.
The neat signature employed by Matisse throughout his life was a thing of the past in his post Cancer recovery years becoming the sloppy one which is found on our item. Illness and infirmity had caused this.