Matisse was a friend and admirer of the French poet Charles Antoine Nau. They both loved Martinique, a tropical island in the French West Indies and in 1945, many years after the death of his friend in 1918, Matisse conceived of the idea of producing a series of portraits of Martinquaise women to complement his favourite poems by Nau, which were inspired by the island. Matisse made 27 drawings on transfer paper to be printed as lithographs at the Mourlot Studio and in 1946 the studio started to print trial impressions. However, there were long delays in producing the text for the work and Matisse died before the project could be brought to fruition. Fortunately, in 1972, under the direction of Matisse's heirs, the folio was finally published.
Artist: Henri Matisse (1869 - 1954)
Title: Charles Antoine Nau: "Poesies Antillaises", 1946 (printed in 1972).
References: Duthuit No. 37
Medium: Lithograph printed in bistre ink.
Sheet size: 381 x 280 mm (15 x 11 inches)
Framed size: 555 x 465 mm (22 x 18 1/4 inches)
Edition: 275 copies on Vélin d'Arches, created at the Mourlot Studio Paris.
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