Matisse and Soyer

Continuing in a theme of minimal renditions, our next piece is by the French artist Henri Matisse. Although not as famous as Picasso, Matisse was one of the influential artists of his time, employing a loose and original style that was all his own. Although originally criticized as being a Fauve, or wild beast, he eventually came to be recognized as a figurative artist in the traditional sensibilities of French painting. His body of work ranges over an impressive career of over 50 years in which he produced critically acclaimed art.

The inscription on this piece professes love for the golden hair of the woman pictured. It mentions feelings of jealousy towards her comb, for it has the pleasure of flowing through the golden locks each morning. The print itself is from a collection of love poems by Ronsard and was the concept of Matisse in 1941. Through multiple attempts of matching text to image, and having printing issues, and not to mention the delay of war until 1946, the collection finally came to fruition as a work of 126 lithographs. Unlike the previous attempts, the final works were composed with image and text together.

Name: Plus Que mes Yeax Je t'Aime tes Beaux Cheveux | Date of Print: 1948 | Type of Print: Sugar Lift Etching | Artist: Henri Matisse | Nationality: French | Artist Life Span: 1869-1954

Born in Russia in 1899, but later an American, Raphael Soyer was a well known painter, draftsman, and printmaker. His work consisted mostly of portraits of everyday people and places in New York City during the middle of the 20th century, which offered him no lack of interesting and unique subjects. He held a strong belief in the value of representational art and was decidedly against the trend towards abstraction during his career. His honest and elegant portraits convey a sense of presence, as if the woman in this etching is just about to move. To continue the tour, exit the gallery. The next prints will be facing the library on your right.

Name: Woman with Cross | Date of Print: 1943 | Type of Print: Etching | Artist: Raphael Soyer | Nationality: American | Artist Life Span: 1899-1945