Pub. Date:
Matisse's Poets: Critical Performance in the Artist's Book

Matisse's Poets: Critical Performance in the Artist's Book

by Kathryn Brown


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Thursday, September 30


Throughout his career, Henri Matisse used imagery as a means of engaging critically with poetry and prose by a diverse range of authors. Kathryn Brown offers a groundbreaking account of Matisse's position in the literary cross-currents of 20th-century France and explores ways in which reading influenced the artist's work in a range of media. This study argues that the livre d'artiste became the privileged means by which Matisse enfolded literature into his own idiom and demonstrated the centrality of his aesthetic to modernist debates about authorship and creativity. By tracing the compositional and interpretive choices that Matisse made as a painter, print maker, and reader in the field of book production, this study offers a new theoretical account of visual art's capacity to function as a form of literary criticism and extends debates about the gendering of 20th-century bibliophilia. Brown also demonstrates the importance of Matisse's self-placement in relation to the French literary canon in the charged political climate of the Second World War and its aftermath. Through a combination of archival resources, art history, and literary criticism, this study offers a new interpretation of Matisse's artist's books and will be of interest to art historians, literary scholars, and researchers in book history and modernism.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501351396
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 03/21/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 392
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.81(d)

About the Author

Kathryn Brown is Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Art at Loughborough University, UK. She is the author of Women Readers in French Painting 1870-1890 (2012) and (as editor and contributor) The Art Book Tradition in Twentieth-Century Europe (2013), Interactive Contemporary Art: Participation in Practice (2014) and Perspectives on Degas (2016). She has published widely on nineteenth- and twentieth-century French painting and literature. Brown is editor of the Bloomsbury series Contextualizing Art Markets.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Matisse and the Book
Performing Literary Criticism
Theorizing Arts of the Book: Maupassant's Influence
1. Matisse Among the Poets
Modernist Genealogies
Controversial Beginnings: The Two Versions of Les Jockeys camouflés
Essential Lines
2. 'Visual Thoughts': Les Poésies de Stéphane Mallarmé
Arts of Elimination
Mirrored Space
Poetic Others
3. Disowning Ulysses
Homeric Frameworks
Books within Books
Innovation, Instability, and Tradition
The Limited Editions Club in a Post-War Art World
4. The War Book: Pasiphaé, Chant de Minos (Les Crétois)
Performing the 'Solar Myth'
Heroism, Shame, and the Corrida
From Myth to Politics
5. Imitation and Innovation: Florilège des Amours de Ronsard
Appeasing the Bibliophiles
Influence: A Modernist Renaissance
Objectification and Identification: Portraying the Female Nude
6. Enacting Beauty: Les Fleurs du mal
A New Architecture for Les Fleurs du mal
Modernism and Beauty
Matisse Alone: 'Les Fleurs du bien'
7. Problematizing Authorship: Les Lettres portugaises
Rectificatory Justice and the Book
Selfhood: Matisse's Essays on Art
8. Beyond the 'Ritual Space' of the Book: Jazz
Drawing Words/Hearing Colour
The Failure of Icarus
9. Old Acquaintances, New Collaborations: Tzara and Reverdy
Redefining Ekphrasis: Visages
10. Imprisonment and Occupation: Poèmes de Charles d'Orléans
A Modernist Illuminated Manuscript
Illustration and Imitation
Appropriating Artistic Gesture
11. Apollinaire Redux
Friendship as an Interpretive Framework
The Book as Portrait
Women and Books: From Apollinaire to Repli
12. Literary Legacies
Books out of Time


Customer Reviews