10 February, 2011

le sot Matisse

NASA Messenger image of the Matisse crater on Mercury
Photo: NASA

The village idiot, in other words.  Henri Matisse was known in his home town of Bohain, France as a ner-do-well.  A weirdo, who on the national level was called a "wild beast."   What caused this buttoned-down man of the north to become the wild man of art?

My posts on Henri Matisse.

Hilary Spurling:

Matisse said the act of painting was for him like kicking down a door, or slitting an abscess with a penknife.

Henry Matisse on his painting:

I do it in self-defense. 

You would do well to read Spurling's article about the sartorial Matisse and her biography of him. 

Matisse's Pajamas

Now the Vatican will open a Matisse room to house a collection.


William Cook said...

The Vatican? There goes the neighborhood. Michaelangelo must be beside himself up there on the big scaffold. Wm

Casey Klahn said...

Think so? I know Michelangelo was a little jealous, but I think he'd have been at the forefront of Modernism were that his era.

Someone asked the nuns at Vence what the meaning of the Matisse chapel artworks was. They answered, "It means 'Modern.'"

Anonymous said...

Hello Casey,

I just have to say thank you for the link to Hilary Spurling's article. Matisse has been on my mind lately. Spurling's article is thoughtful, beautifully written and truth be told, actually brought me to tears.

Thank you once again!

Casey Klahn said...

HS loves HM very much - she is a true biographer. She has a style of inquiry that beats the standard baloney you read.

I was moved by it, too.

Sally Veach said...

Don't you just love that phenom...from village idiot to fame for all time! I say it's cruel and ironic. Those who are shunned during their lifetimes, are sometimes idolized by the same subset of society in later generations! What causes this conflict between herd mentality and innovation??

SamArtDog said...

The HS article is a pleasure; I'm tempted to read her whole Matisse biography. Interesting that one of the BBC episodes also alludes to the textiles of Bohain. It was, in fact, my favorite episode. Actually, I liked a lot of it.

Which crater is he hiding in?

Public Confessions said...


~ <3 Poems about life <3~

Casey Klahn said...

Hey, Sally. You caught my intention, with Matisse's "mercurial" rise to fame. Sorry for the bad pun - I value your intelligent comments.

Casey Klahn said...

Har, Sam. You are the punster as well. I think the crater is cut off by my extra large photo posting. Upper right is the one, I believe.

I wasn't really sold on the series until The Red Studio.

Casey Klahn said...

Hello, PC from Atlanta, GA. Best wishes with your poetry, prose and writing.

Abstract Expressionism, Art Criticism, Artists, Colorist Art, Drawing, History, Impressionism, Modern Art, Painting, Pastel, Post Impressionism