The extraordinary significance of the painter and sculptor Henri Matisse inthe history of modern art, but also his influence, was no less decisivethan that of his main rival, Pablo Picasso. In fact, Matisse's stylisticliberation actually goes one step further in the pursuit of his ownpersonal goal - the perfect synthesis of line and color - by which hesought revolutionary approaches to the great tradition of French paintingby drawing upon its classical aspects. For those who wish to know moreabout this lodestar of modern art and follow the adventurous path of hiscreative career, this publication is surely the most comprehensive andinformative source available. Lavishly illustrated, its authoritativecommentaries trace the artist's search for balance, purity and serenity,from the chromatic brilliance of his Fauve period, through his travels,the Orient, geometric synthesis (it was he who introduced Picasso toAfrican art by giving him his first mask), and the odalisques to the finaltriumph when, at the age of eighty, he invented his gouache cut-outs thatculminated in his illustrations for Jazz and allowed him to achieve hisgoal of sculpting in paint just as a sculptor works in stone. Matisse iswidely acknowledged as an artist whose canvases are extremely difficult toreproduce in print. With this in mind, each work presented here has beenpainstakingly compared with the respective original, in closecollaboration with the artist's grandson, Claude Duthuit. The bard ofcolor deserves no less.