i heart matisse

i've got this norton simon museum calendar pinned up on my inspiration board for quite some time now... the cover is an illustration by henri matisse - easily one of my favorite artists of all time. i was so happy when we finally got the chance to visit the exhibition, matisse's amours: illustrations of pierre de ronsard's love poems. not only did matisse spent seven years to publish and illustrate the text, he also chose the typeface (caslon) and designed the layouts himself. as it turned out, the illustration on the calendar is from a poem called élégie a janet, pentre du roy (elegy to janet, painter to king).


elegy to janet, painter to king
paint for me, janet, paint for me i beg you
in this picture the beauties of my sweet
as i will tell them to you.
not as a supplicant will i beseech you
to enhance her by the artifice of art
it will suffice that you portray her
as she is and not seek, by disguising
her nature, to improve her,
for such improving is good only for those
who have themselves painted and are not beautiful.


my love for matisse really started after i saw the matisse picasso exhibition at moma back in 2003. whenever i'm at an antique store or flea market, i will look for his sketches, illustrations, or paper cutouts. nothing beats this rather tattered, but lovely edition of 'jazz' by matisse that i found at a used bookstore. published by piper-bücherei, printed in germany 1957. the whimsical paper cutout designs were inspired by circuses, myths, and folktales. how debonair is his handwriting? ;)

r. riper and co. logo
do you see the ampersand - & ?

1 comment:

  1. I love your last two postings! You got to help me with mine. Your photos are beautiful as well.

    You are so talented! If only I had just part of your artistic ability!


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