Henri Matisse

L'enterrement de Pierrot [The Burial of Pierrot]

About this artwork

Following surgery for cancer in 1941, Matisse struggled to stand by an easel and instead made cut-outs while confined to his bed or wheelchair. 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. Whilst the clowns are comedic aspect of circus performance, parts of the act are also tragi-comic, for example the death of Pierrot and his funeral as represented here.

Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse