Nature Morte au Magnolia is an original wood engraving in colors by Robert Rey, after Henri Matisse (Fr. 1869-1954), circa 1950. The art measures 8 1/2″ x 11 3/4″; frame is 23″ x 25 1/2″; signed in pencil and numbered 69/150 by Henri Matisse,and by, Robert Rey ; printed by Gerard Angiolini, Paris, published by L’Image Litteraire.
**Note: This is one of 12 wood engravings from the portfolio “Estampes” by Robert Rey, 1950. Rey was a professor of History of Art in the “Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts” in France. Edited by L’Image Litteraire, New York and printed by Gerard Angiolini, Paris. A rare and important work by some of the most important 20th century artists, the complete portfolio includes 12 wood engravings with an essay about each artist, a title page, an introduction by professor Rey, table of contents and text. Each print is hand signed and numbered by the artist and countersigned by Robert Rey.
Henri Matisse was one of the giants of 20th century art. Along with his friend and peer Pablo Picasso, Matisse’s inventive figuration and expressive palette redefined Modern painting and sculpture. A founding member of the Fauvist movement, his exploration of intricate pattern and bright color in landscapes, portraiture, and still lifes cemented his place as one of the most influential painters of the era—a legacy that can be seen in the works of later artists such as Richard Diebenkorn, David Hockney, and Alex Katz. “What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject-matter,” he once said, “an art which could be for every mental worker, for the businessman as well as the man of letters, for example, a soothing, calming influence on the mind, something like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.” Born on December 31, 1869 in Le Cateau-Cambrésis, France, he took to art relatively late in life after initially pursuing law. Having studied the Pointillist ideas espoused by Georges Seurat and Paul Signac, Matisse took an interest in traditional African art, which he would continue to explore throughout his life. One of his most iconic works, Blue Nude II (1952), was part of a series of cut-out and collage paper works, made after an operation which left him bed-ridden and unable to stand at the easel. Matisse died on November 3, 1954 in Nice, France. Today, his works are held in the collections of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the National Gallery in London, among others.
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