Saturday, June 20, 2009

son of the sun

With the longest day of the year coming tomorrow, it seemed appropriate to note Henri Matisse’s love of the sun and beautiful use of light and color in so many of his paintings. This recollection by Georges Duthuit is from an interesting little book on Matissse by Anette Robinson and Isabelle Breda, published as part of the Key Art Works series from the Centre Georges Pompidou.

"During Matisse’s funeral the weather was cloudy and rather dull in Nice. But when, after the service, the cortege reformed to take his body to its last resting place…the sun’s rays suddenly split the grey canvas and blooded the sky with exactly the same radiance, the same welcoming glow that Matisse had struggled to catch and reflect throughout his whole life…."

Duthuit also described the sun’s sudden appearance on that November day in 1954 when Matisse was buried as being like the sun's own “tribute of sympathy to his most faithful servant….”

(Featured Painting: Interior with Phonograph -- Henri Matisse, 1924)