In 1942 Matisse was commissioned to make a book of colour prints. Initially, he intended it to be about the circus, but decided to depict other subjects as well as his original theme. He selected 'Jazz' as the title, to reflect the vibrancy and rhythm of the images. At a late stage, Matisse decided to write an accompanying text, consisting of loosely connected thoughts on painting, life and the making of the book. 'Jazz' was published in September 1947 in an edition of 270 copies with text, and 100 copies of the images alone.