"Matisse: In Search of True Painting" at the Met

Curator Rebecca Rabinow talks about the exhibition “Matisse: In Search of True Painting,” on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through March 17. Henri Matisse was one of the most acclaimed artists working in France during the first half of the 20th century, but painting had rarely come easily to Matisse. Throughout his career, he questioned, repainted, and reevaluated his work. This show demonstrates his need to progress methodically from one painting to the next.

Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Still Life with Compote and Fruit. 1899. Oil on canvas, 18 1/8 x 21 7/8 in. (46 x 55.6 cm).
Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Still Life with Compote and Fruit. 1899. Oil on canvas, 18 1/8 x 21 7/8 in. (46 x 55.6 cm).

Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis,
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Sydney M. Shoenberg, Jr., 1962
© 2012 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

From “Matisse: In Search of True Painting,” on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through March 17, 2013.

Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Still Life with Compote, Apples, and Oranges. 1899. Oil on canvas, 18 1/4 x 21 7/8 in. (46.4 x 55.6 cm)
Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Still Life with Compote, Apples, and Oranges. 1899. Oil on canvas, 18 1/4 x 21 7/8 in. (46.4 x 55.6 cm)

The Baltimore Museum of Art, The Cone Collection, formed by Dr. Claribel Cone and Miss Etta Cone of Baltimore, Maryland
© 2012 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

From “Matisse: In Search of True Painting,” on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through March 17, 2013.

Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Young Sailor I. 1906. Oil on canvas, 39 1/4 x 32 in. (99.7 x 81.3 cm)
Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Young Sailor I. 1906. Oil on canvas, 39 1/4 x 32 in. (99.7 x 81.3 cm)

Collection of Sheldon H. Solow
© 2012 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

From “Matisse: In Search of True Painting,” on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through March 17, 2013.

Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Young Sailor II. 1906. Oil on canvas, 39 7/8 x 32 5/8 in. (101.3 x 82.9 cm)
Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Young Sailor II. 1906. Oil on canvas, 39 7/8 x 32 5/8 in. (101.3 x 82.9 cm)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York,
Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection (1999.363.41)
© 2012 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

From “Matisse: In Search of True Painting,” on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through March 17, 2013.

Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954.) Nasturtiums with the Painting "Dance" I. 1912. Oil on canvas, 75-1/2 x 45-3/8 in. (191.8 x 115.3 cm)
Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954.) Nasturtiums with the Painting "Dance" I. 1912. Oil on canvas, 75-1/2 x 45-3/8 in. (191.8 x 115.3 cm)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York,
Bequest of Scofield Thayer, 1982 (1984.433.16)
© 2012 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

From “Matisse: In Search of True Painting,” on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through March 17, 2013.

Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Interior with Goldfish. 1914. Oil on canvas, 57 7/8 x 38 3/16 in. (147 x 97 cm)
Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Interior with Goldfish. 1914. Oil on canvas, 57 7/8 x 38 3/16 in. (147 x 97 cm)

Centre Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, Bequest of
Baronne Eva Gourgaud, 1965
© 2012 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

From “Matisse: In Search of True Painting,” on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through March 17, 2013.

Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Goldfish and Palette. 1914. Oil on canvas, 57 3/4 x 44 1/4 in. (146.5 x 112.4 cm)
Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Goldfish and Palette. 1914. Oil on canvas, 57 3/4 x 44 1/4 in. (146.5 x 112.4 cm)

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Gift and bequest of Florene M.
Schoenborn and Samuel A. Marx, 1964
© 2012 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

From “Matisse: In Search of True Painting,” on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through March 17, 2013.

Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Laurette in a Green Robe, Black Background. 1916. Oil on canvas, 28 3/4 x 21 3/8 inches (73 x 54.3 cm)
Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Laurette in a Green Robe, Black Background. 1916. Oil on canvas, 28 3/4 x 21 3/8 inches (73 x 54.3 cm)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York,
Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection, 1998 (1999.363.43)
© 2012 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

From “Matisse: In Search of True Painting,” on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through March 17, 2013.

Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Laurette Seated on a Pink Armchair. 1916-17. Oil on canvas, 39 3/8 x 28 3/4 in. (100 x 73 cm)
Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Laurette Seated on a Pink Armchair. 1916-17. Oil on canvas, 39 3/8 x 28 3/4 in. (100 x 73 cm)

Private collection
© 2012 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

From “Matisse: In Search of True Painting,” on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through March 17, 2013.

Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Meditation (Portrait of Laurette). 1916-17. Oil on canvas, 19 1/2 x 13 1/2 in. (49.5 x 34.3 cm)
Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Meditation (Portrait of Laurette). 1916-17. Oil on canvas, 19 1/2 x 13 1/2 in. (49.5 x 34.3 cm)

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Gift of Miss Ima Hogg
© 2012 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

From “Matisse: In Search of True Painting,” on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through March 17, 2013.

Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). The Large Blue Dress. 1937. Oil on canvas, 36 1/2 x 29 in. (92.7 x 73.7 cm)
Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). The Large Blue Dress. 1937. Oil on canvas, 36 1/2 x 29 in. (92.7 x 73.7 cm)

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. John Wintersteen, 1956
© 2012 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

From “Matisse: In Search of True Painting,” on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through March 17, 2013.

Matossian. Photograph documenting Henri Matisse's process of painting "The Large Blue Dress," 1937 February 26, 1937. Photographs, 5 3/4 x 4 1/2 in. (14.6 x 11.4 cm)
Matossian. Photograph documenting Henri Matisse's process of painting "The Large Blue Dress," 1937 February 26, 1937. Photographs, 5 3/4 x 4 1/2 in. (14.6 x 11.4 cm)

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Henry McIlhenny Papers
© 2012 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

From “Matisse: In Search of True Painting,” on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through March 17, 2013.

Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Interior in Yellow and Blue. 1946. Oil on canvas, 45 11/16 x 31 7/8 in. (116 x 81 cm)
Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Interior in Yellow and Blue. 1946. Oil on canvas, 45 11/16 x 31 7/8 in. (116 x 81 cm)

Centre Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, State purchase,
1947
© 2012 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

From “Matisse: In Search of True Painting,” on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through March 17, 2013.

Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Interior in Venetian Red. 1946. Oil on canvas, 36 1/4 x 25 9/16 in. (92 x 65 cm)
Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Interior in Venetian Red. 1946. Oil on canvas, 36 1/4 x 25 9/16 in. (92 x 65 cm)

Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels
© 2012 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

From “Matisse: In Search of True Painting,” on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through March 17, 2013.

Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Interior with an Egyptian Curtain. 1948. Oil on canvas, 45 3/4 x 35 1/8 in. (116.2 x 89.2 cm)
Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Interior with an Egyptian Curtain. 1948. Oil on canvas, 45 3/4 x 35 1/8 in. (116.2 x 89.2 cm)

The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.
© 2012 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

From “Matisse: In Search of True Painting,” on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through March 17, 2013.

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