Henri Matisse's Great Leap Forward
The Artist at Work
Matisse poses beside Bathers by a River, in May 1913. The artist was entering his mid-40s during the years the show covers. Though he was very visible in the art world at that time, the French still tended to consider his work as an eyesore. Much of his income derived from a single Russian patron, Sergei Shchukin, a wealthy merchant willing to fill his drawing room with Matisse's most difficult pictures while Moscow society snickered.