Matisse often compared himself to a juggler or to an acrobat, daily maintaining the flexibility of his work instrument.
The exhibition illustrates the main moments in this artistic journey of Matisse, arranged in 14 thematic and chronological sequences. The exposition begins from the apprenticeship years at the very start of the 20th century, through the studies for the chapel of the Rosary in Vence (1948–49) and ends with the final masterpiece and culmination of an entire lifetime for artist.
Left: Henri Matisse, "Large Red Interior" (1948). Centre Pompidou, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris
The model for the painting "Woman in Blue" (see Illustration above) was Lydia Delectorskaya, a beautiful young Russian immigrant who worked closely with Henri Matisse during the last twenty years of his life. Although she sits for the artist once in 1934, she really becomes his model only in the following years. For this portrait Delectorskaya designed the sumptuous violet-blue dress herself, using fabric that Matisse had bought in Paris. The resulting concoction, held together by loose stitches and pins, was intended only for use in Matisse's studio in Nice and appears in several of his paintings of this period.
Left: Henri Matisse, «Young woman in white (Extended model in white dress)» (1946). Museum of Fine Arts, Lyon.
The exhibition "Henri Matisse: The Internal Laboratory" at the Museum of Fine Arts in Lyon will last until 6 March, 2017
Based on materials from the official website of the Museum of Fine Arts, Lyon