Art: Life in a Few Lines

When Albert Marquet and Henri Matisse were art students in Paris, they used to load their canvases into the same pushcart, hopefully trundle them off to the Autumn Salon. On one return trip, no canvases sold, Marquet lamented, "If only a bus would crash into our pushcart, we could at least collect the damages." Matisse soon trundled his own brilliant, revolutionary canvases into the front ranks of modern French art. Marquet settled down to painting workmanlike studies of boat-filled harbors and rivers, lagged far behind. He died in 1947, at 72, little known outside his native France.

Last week a Paris exhibit...

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