Matisse’s Last Will

Standing Ovation, Seated

“What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject-matter, an art which could be for every mental worker, for the businessman as well as the man of letters, … a soothing, calming influence on the mind, something like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.”

This may sound like the first page from a catalogue of wall-paper for posh homes, but it is a quote from Matisse.

Few artists can be trusted when they talk about their art. Instead of saying, “I am better at expressing myself through brush and paints than talking”, they often dismiss any question with, “I was just doodling” or “I see it that way”. Both answers are never true. If they were indeed seeing it “that way”, their attempts at walking across the road would rarely be successful. If they were just “doodling”…

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