Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Around this time, Matisse also became a much nicer guy

Matisse sketching in the Chapelle du Rosaire in Vence 
Matisse designed the Chapelle in gratitude to his nurse, Monique, 
who entered the cloister there
The stained glass windows behind Matisse were designed using cutouts.

While suffering from duodenal cancer late in his life, Matisse underwent a religious conversion, returning to the sacraments for the first time in a decade.  Matisse's conversion also led to an artistic rebirth.  Although no longer able to stand before a canvas, Matisse nevertheless wished “to make God’s glory visible through purely terrestrial means.”  Matisse cleverly hit upon a new artistic technique, the "cut out,"  which made it possible for him to create vibrant, colorful and large scale works of art while remaining seated.  An exhibition of Matisse's cutouts is currently on at the Tate Modern in London, but naturally they don't mention the spiritual rebirth which inspired them.

More stained glass windows designed with cutouts
from Chapelle du Rosaire

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