Self-portrait 1923“Matisse: Masterworks From the Baltimore Museum of Art,” which runs through May 18 at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, comes from an unlikely source: two wealthy sisters from Baltimore who amassed the world’s largest collection of the French master’s work.
Among Matisse’s first patrons, the Cone sisters collected throughout his entire career 42 oil paintings, 18 sculptures, 36 drawings, 155 prints, and seven illustrated books, as well as 250 drawings, prints, and copper plates from the artist’s first illustrated book, Poésies de Stéphane Mallarmé. The sisters also acquired 114 works by Picasso, including an important group of prints and drawings from the artist’s early years in Barcelona to his Rose period in Paris (1905–1906.)
The Cone collection spans his whole career, from the first still lifes of his student days up to his death in 1954. The exhibit concentrates on a time between the world wars when Matisse was known internationally but still wrangling with color, design and composition.
A guided tour of this exhibit certainly was inspiring and impressive seeing so many original works of art by Henri Matisse.
As you entered the exhibit I thought this was a creative way to think about inspiration. A table was set up with drawing and collage materials. Participants were encouraged to decorate a postcard and send to someone who inspires them or send to MIA and tell how you found inspiration in your visit. They thought of everything by setting up a mailbox. I took a few cards home with some people in mind that inspire me.
Matisse began his painting career with still lives and landscapes. He appreciated texture, designs and bold use of color. He left behind a legacy of paintings, lithographs, sculptures and drawings. In the last 14 years of his life he focused much of his energies on cut paper collages which he called "painting with scissors." Much of Matisse's life was spent in Nice, France.
Matisse was a man who loved routine and found art inspiration starting his day with poetry. He was fond of prose that was intimate, sensual and personal much like his art. Midday he found solace in playing the violin before he resumed his work.
Still Life Peaches 1895
Painter in the Olive Garden 1922
Interior, Flowers and Parakeet 1924
Large Reclining Nude 1935
Purple Robe and Anemones 1937
Matisse at work on a paper cut out 1952
Throughout his working life Matisse never lost his desire for learning, creation or experimentation.
"In the end, there is only Matisse."