Kerfe's Reviews > Matisse, His Art and His Textiles

Matisse, His Art and His Textiles by Royal Academy of Arts
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's review
Jul 25, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: textiles, visual-arts
Read in July, 2012

I'm really sorry to have missed this exhibit. Both the art and the textiles are exceptional.

Matisse grew up in Bohain, a weaving center in France, known for its bold, colorful, often experimental, luxury textiles. This early influence had a profound effect on the way he came to make art, and he collected and used as background and costume both textiles and clothing from many cultures and many parts of the world. He had a particular interest in textiles from Islamic lands.

The textile-centered aspect to Matisses's work should be obvious, yet I had never looked at his art from that perspective; this book definitely enlarged my vision. The essays provide background and illumination, highlighting specific garments and cloth that were used over and over for different paintings and drawings. Matisse's own garment designs, particularly the religious chasubles, are also noted.

Even the photos of his various studios reinforce the theme.

"Matisse furnished all his homes and studios from junk shops with bits and pieces that caught his eye..."

As they do, through his paintings, our own.

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