Art: Matisse: A Strange, Healing Calm

WHAT I dream is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter, an art that might be for every mental worker like an appeasing influence; something like a good armchair . . ."

Thus Henri Matisse. The gentle modesty was characteristic of the man. When Matisse died in 1954 at the age of 84, he left behind him what must seem, in retrospect, the most serene and perfect body of "decorative" painting since Tiepolo. His bronzes —generally small in scale and strictly limited in edition—are not so famous. Yet a feeling has been abroad for...

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