Henri Matisse

Le Coeur [The Heart]

About this artwork

In 1942 the publisher, Elf Tériade, commissioned Matisse to make a book of colour images. Matisse conceived it as a book on the circus although began to incorporate other subjects and motifs. In 1944 he decided to include accompanying hand-written texts, which served to create breathing spaces between the vibrantly coloured images. The text offers a series of loosely connected thoughts on painting, life and the making of the book. Matisse’s nurse, Lydia Delectorskaya, noted Matisse’s description of the works to be included in the publication. For Matisse, this work relates to “the tenderness of the human heart”. This may be in relation to Matisse’s concerns for his wife, daughter and son, who were involved with a Resistance movement during the Second World War.

Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse