M comme Matisse - variations florales

exhibition from november 9 to february 25, 2019.


At the same time as Suzanne Lafont’s exhibition  Nouvelles especes de comapgnie. roman, the museum is presenting, in the room devoted to exhibitions of graphic art, the M series from “Themes and Variations”, a set of seven drawings by Henri Matisse, representing a range of still lifes of flowers and fruits, which the artist donated to the museum in 1943.

In 1941-1942, Matisse produced 158 drawings grouped into 17 series, each including between three and 17 variations and designated by the letters “A” to “P”. The entire series was published in 1943 in a portfolio entitled “Themes and Variations”. The M Series consists of seven successive stages of a study of flowers and fruit. The theme’s initial drawing was made using charcoal. The second drawing, the first variation on the theme, was made using Indian ink while the last five were made in pencil.

When donating the series of seven drawings, Henri Matisse added a copy of the portfolio numbered 345 and containing a dedication to the museum. He did the same with the 16 other original series, which he gave to different French museums, each accompanied by a signed copy of the “Themes and Variations” publication.

This exceptional set of the original drawings for the M Series and the “Themes et Variations” book are presented for the first time in the museum, accompanied by “Poèmes de Charles d’Orléans” (Poems by Charles d’Orléans) published by Tériade in 1950, also in the museum’s collections and also illustrated by Matisse.         

Vue de l'exposition Matisse. © F. Deval - Mairie de Bordeaux

Vue de l'exposition Matisse. © F. Deval - Mairie de Bordeaux