Matisse's rare 'Jazz' prints now up for auction
French paper cut
Throughout the year, Henri Matisse's fascinating cut-outs have been receiving hoards of visitors at the Tate Modern exhibition, Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs. Now, Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions are selling some of the diverse and unique pieces from the Jazz series.
Despite ill health that left the artist immobile and unable to paint or draw freely, Matisse embarked on a new phase of his career – which proved to be his most celebratory and influential pieces of all time.
A vibrant union between drawing and colour, Matisse called his new dynamic style, "painting with scissors"
Inspired by the circus – using scissors to cut out shapes from coloured gouache-painted paper – Matisse created a series of paper cut-outs and papier decoupés, which were published in Jazz, 1947, a limited-edition book which contained his written memoirs and colour pochoirs.
The combination of vivid colours and abstract composition evokes a glorious celebration of life against adversity, making the Jazz prints one the most ground-breaking series of 20th century art.