• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • pinterest
  • Tumblr
  • Flickr
  • Youtube
  • eNews

Matisse in the James C Sourris, AM, Collection of Rare Books

books

(Left to right) | (figs.1-6) Teriade, E (Dir.) Verve: Revue artistique et littéraire paraissant quatre fois par an, (Décembre, Mars, Juin et Octobre) Journal, 9 issues; vol.1, no.1, 1937; vol.1, no. 3, 1937; vol.1, no.4, 1938; vol.1, nos.5–6, 1939; vol.2, no.8, 1940; vol.4, no.13, 1945; vol.6, no.21–22, 1948; vol.6, no.23 1949; vol.4, nos.35–36, 1958. Editions De La Revue Verve, Paris | (fig.7) Christian Zervos and Tristan Tzara, ‘Dessins de Matisse’, Cahiers d’art 11, 3-5 Editions Cahiers d’art, Paris, 1936 | (fig.8) Les Fauves: Braque, Derain, Van Dongen, Dufy, Friesz, Manguin, Marquet, Matisse, Puy, Vlaminck Book Editions des Trois Collines, Geneve, 1949 | (fig.9) Henri Matisse: OEuvres Récentes, 1947–1948, Exhibition catalogue Musee national d’art moderne, Paris, 1949 | (fig.10) Henri Matisse, 9 Juillet – 2 Octobre 1949 Exhibition catalogue Musee Des Beaux-Arts, Lucerne, 1949 | (fig.11) Henri Matisse Chapelle du rosaire des dominicaines de Vence Book [unknown publisher, Vence], 1951 | (fig.12) Galerie Gerald Cramer Livres illustrés, estampes, sculptures modernes,Exhibition catalogue (no.8) Gerard Cramer, Geneve, 1952 | (fig.13) Henri Cartier-Bresson Images a la Sauvette: Photographies par Henri Cartier-Bresson Book Editions Verve, Paris, 1952 | (fig.14) Henri Matisse: The Museum of Modern Art, November 13, 1951 – January 13 1952; The Cleveland Museum of Art, February 5 – March 16, 1952; The Art Institute of Chicago, April 1 – May 4, 1952; The San Francisco Museum of Art, May 22 – July 6, 1952 Exhibition catalogue The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1951 | | (fig.15 Andre Verdet Prestiges de Matisse: Précédé de visite à Matisse; Entretiens avec Matisse Book Editions Emile-Paul, Paris, 1952 | (fig.16) Musee national d’art moderne Rétrospective Henri Matisse Exhibition catalogue Editions des Musees nationaux, Paris, 1956

The James C Sourris, AM, Collection includes rare and important books, journals and exhibition catalogues on Henri Matisse (1869-1954). These publications, dating from 1936 to 1956, offer contextual background and a glimpse into Matisse's oeuvre of the time.

A highlight of the collection is the Verve. In December 1937, Tériade (Efstratios Eleftheriades 1897-1983) established the journal Verve, which he would edit until 1960. A quarterly review of arts, letters and literature, Verve was noted for its high production values and lavish design, having been ‘conceived as a work of art in its own right.’1 It brought together the art of diverse countries and eras and featured numerous texts by both artists and writers, including Henri Matisse, Ernest Hemingway, Albert Camus, James Joyce, Marc Chagall, Jean-Paul Sartre, Man Ray, Pierre Bonnard, Pablo Picasso, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Joan Miró.

Matisse designed the cover of the inaugural issue for his friend Tériade: a nude drawn in Indian ink within a composition that is effectively his first paper cut-out, with the journal’s title appearing along the edge in calligraphic script. Matisse also contributed linocuts and lithographic prints for the third and fourth issues, such as a green, red and black variation of La Danse 1909-10, framed with pieces of paper painted with blue, yellow and black gouache.

For the eighth issue (summer 1940), entitled ‘La Symphonie chromatique’ (Symphony of colour), Matisse composed a cover using 26 differently coloured papers, ‘at once realistic and symbolic; it conveys the impression of multicolored precious stones strewn across a black cloth’,2 necessitating 26 passages through the lithographic press - an extraordinary feat for a printed journal. Tériade edited three special issues of Verve on Matisse’s paintings of the 1940s and his final paper cut-outs.

The James C Sourris, AM, Collection of Rare Books on Matisse is comprised of 20 impressive texts and includes:

  • Louis Aragon, Henri Matisse - Dessins. Thèmes et variations, Martin Fabiani (ed.), Paris, 1943.
  • E Tériade (Dir.), Verve: Revue artistique et littéraire paraissant quatre fois par an, Editions de la Revue Verve, Paris (9 issues)/ figs.1-6
  • Georges Duthuit, Les Fauves: Braque, Derain, Van Dongen, Dufy, Friesz, Manguin, Marquet, Matisse, Puy, Vlaminck, Éditions des Trois Collines, Genève, 1949/ fig.8
  • Henri Matisse: Oeuvres récentes, 1947-1948. Musée national d’art moderne, Paris, 1949/ fig.9
  • Henri Matisse: 9 Juillet - 2 Octobre 1949 [exhibition catalogue], Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lucerne, 1949/ fig.10
  • Henri Matisse, Chapelle du rosaire des dominicaines de Vence, [unknown publisher, Vence], 1951/ fig.11
  • Galerie Gérald Cramer, Livres illustrés, estampes, sculptures modernes [exhibition catalogue, no.8], Gérald Cramer, Genève, 1952/ fig.12
  • Henri Cartier-Bresson, Images a la Sauvette: Photographies par Henri Cartier-Bresson, Éditions Verve, Paris, 1952/ fig.13
  • Henri Matisse: The Museum of Modern Art, November 13, 1951 - January 13 1952; The Cleveland Museum of Art, February 5 - March 16,1952; The Art Institute of Chicago, April 1 - May 4, 1952; The San Francisco Museum of Art, May 22 - July 6, 1952, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1951/ fig.14
  • Musée national d’art moderne, Rétrospective Henri Matisse, Éditions des Musees nationaux, Paris, 1956/ fig.16
  • Andre Verdet, Prestiges de Matisse: Précédé de visite à Matisse; Entretiens avec Matisse, Éditions Emile-Paul, Paris, 1952/ fig.15
  • Christian Zervos and Tristan Tzara, ‘Dessins de Matisse’, Cahiers d’art, vol.11, nos.3-5, Éditions Cahiers d’art, Paris, 1936/ fig.7

The James C Sourris, AM, Collection of Rare Books. Purchased with funds from James C Sourris, AM, through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation 2011. Collection: Queensland Art Gallery Research Library

The collection is searchable through the Library's online catalogue and is available for use by appointment. Please contact the Research Library on 07 3842 9557 or library@qagoma.qld.gov.au

1 John Russell, ‘Flair for the grand gesture: Celebrating a magazine’, New York Times, 8 October 1988.
2 Michel Anthonioz, Verve: The Ultimate Review of Art and Literature (1937-1960), Harry N. Abrams,  New York, 1987, p.125.