HENRI MATISSE 1869-1954
Title: The Swimmer in the Aquarium, from: Jazz | La Nageuse dans l’aquarium, 1947
Technique: Pochoir in Colours on Arches Wove Paper
Paper size: 42 x 65 cm. / 16.5 x 25.6 in. Image size: 40 x 63 cm. / 17.7 x 24.8 in.
Additional Information: This work is the twelfth composition of the twenty pochoir prints that Matisse created for the famous "Jazz" artist book. The album was printed by Edmond Vairel, text printed by Draeger Freres and it was published by Efstratios Eleftheriades, known as ‘Tériade’ in Paris in September 1947. It was printed in two editions: 1. 250 copies with a central fold. 2. 100 copies without fold. None of the impressions were ever signed by Matisse. Our impression is from the edition of 250. The paper bears the Arches watermark.
Note: In his 70's when his health no longer permitted him to freely draw or paint, Matisse used scissors to cut out simple forms from brightly coloured paper painted to his specifications with gouache. He then arranged them on another sheet of gouache-painted paper. They were then prepared for printing. The themes in Jazz often come from the theatre or circus, and are meant to give a sense of improvisation, like Jazz music itself. None of the original copies were bound, and each of the pages is about 24 inches by 12 inches and folded in the center. Some of the pages have Matisse's text on the left side and an image on the right; other pages, like The Funeral of Pierrot, cover the entire sheet and there is no text.
Literature: Duthuit C. (1983). Henri Matisse: Catalogue Raisonné des ouvrages illustrés établi avec la collaboration de Françoise Garnaud. Paris.
Reference: Duthuit Books 22, illustrated on page 175