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Matisse comes to the Lady Lever Art Gallery

A fascinating series of works produced in the final years of Henri Matisse’s life have gone on show at the Lady Lever Art Gallery.

Matisse: Drawing with Scissors features 35 posthumous prints of the famous cut-outs the French artist produced in the last four years of his life when confined to his bed, including many of his iconic images, such as The Snail and the series of Blue Nudes.

The exhibition, which is touring from the Hayward Gallery at London’s Southbank Centre, is free but National Museums Liverpool bosses are asking people to consider make a cash donation that they consider appropriate to help keep bringing top quality work to the venue.

The French painter, sculptor and designer – who trained to be a lawyer before moving to Paris to study art at the age of 21 - continued creating highly original works into his eighties. The colours he used were so strong he was advised by his doctor to wear dark glasses.

Above: Matisse: Drawing with Scissors at the Lady Lever Art Gallery. Photo copyright Gareth Jones. Artworks © Succession H. Matisse/ DACS 2019

Top: Henri Matisse, Tristesse du Roi (Sorrow of the King), 1952 (lithographic reproduction, 1958). © Succession H. Matisse/ DACS 2019

For his cut-outs he used paper, hand-painted with gouache, which he carved into with scissors, saying: “The paper cut-out allows me to draw in the colour… Instead of drawing the outline and putting the colour inside it…I draw straight into the colour.”

Kate O’Donoghue, curatorial trainee at NML, said: “Henri Matisse is a world-famous artist and this exhibition includes many of his iconic images. We’re proud that Matisse is coming to Wirral for the first time in over ten years and during Wirral Borough of Culture Year.”

The lithographic reproductions in the Lady Lever exhibition are taken from a special double issue of Verve, a review of art and literature published by Matisse’s friend, the critic and fine art publisher Tériade, in 1958, four years after Matisse’s death.

Matisse: Drawing with Scissors is at the Lady Lever Art Gallery until March 15 2020.

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