Art: The Sultan and the Scissors

A dazzling show of Matisse cut-outs

Young prodigies in art are as common as seagulls; the rarities are old. A special aura clings to the late works of old men who can sum up a lifetime's deposit of knowledge in a final burst of invention. One thinks of Rembrandt's late self-portraits, of Titian at 90 or Bernini at 75; or, in our century, of Henri Matisse, who died in 1954 at the age of 85. The last two decades of his life were increasingly spent on making works in paper. Ensconced in the south of...

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