Matisse: A Portrait

Hayden Herrera, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $29.95 (223p) ISBN 978-0-15-158183-2
Henri Matisse frequently experienced panic when he painted; he perspired, trembled, even wept. The artist who strived to express serenity and joy spoke often of being driven by ``inner conflict.'' Totally focused on his art, he turned his vivacious wife Amelie Parayre into a strict disciplinarian who ordered their three children to be quiet at meals so as not to agitate their father. In this marvelous biography, Herrera digs beneath the reserved persona to reveal a very human Matisse, a supreme egotist full of child-like empathy with nature who never abandoned his radical quest for beauty. Aided by scores of reproductions, including 28 in color, Herrera, biographer of Frida Kahlo, plumbs Matisse's ``peculiar emotional aloofness,'' his way of masking feelings by projecting them onto colors, shapes and textures, giving his seemingly open and direct paintings their enduring mystery. Photos. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/30/1993
Release date: 09/01/1993
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 978-0-15-600204-2
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