Laura's Reviews > Matisse the Master: A Life of Henri Matisse—Volume 2: The Conquest of Colour, 1909–1954

Matisse the Master by Hilary Spurling
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's review
Dec 06, 2007

it was amazing
Read in July, 2006

Along with Quentin Bell's biography of Virginia Woolf, this and Spurling's first volume, 'The Unknown Matisse' are masterpieces of the life writer's art. From the artist's early days in the poor and dim north of France to his last days in the light-filled south, there's enough detail here to sink a lesser biographical vessel. There's so much that we didn't know before---Spurling's scholarship is exhaustive--- but it's all so well told. This is not the Matisse that introductory art history courses in college conjure up. Here is no happy bourgeois, the angst-ridden Picasso's opposite number. Matisse had a hard life, from beginning to end. I devoured both volumes and was sad when I finished them.
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