"Eglise des Bois", by Henri Matisse, French, (1869-1954)
Lithograph, 1945-7, in brown ink, Plate 12 from Poesie Antillaise, illustrating poems by Charles -Antoine Nau, pub. 1972 by Mourlot, Paris, Ed. of 275, Ref. Duthuit- Matisse Ouvrages Illustres no. 37, 14-3/4 x 9-3/16, on warm white Arches wove, printed to the edges of the sheet top and bottom and unsigned as issued. There was also an edition of 50 on Japan Nacre paper. The lithographs were drawn and proofed by Matisse in 1945-7, but the project was delayed by his fragile health and work on the chapel at Vence, so the final maquette for for the portfolio was completed and approved by Matisse in 1953, but publication was again stalled by the artist's death on Nov. 3rd, 1954. In 1972 the project was revived by Matisse's heirs, and finally published by Mourlot, 18 years after the artist's death. The print surface is fine save for a small pale stain inside the right of the arcing line defining the collar; verso there are three small skinned areas to the sheet corners, and pale traces of adhesive residue from a previous mount. Matisse's beautiful and sensuous lithographs for Poesies exhibit the same lively economy of line which distinguish the best of his prints.