Henri Matisse, Circé, from Ulysses, 1935
|Artist:||Henri Matisse (1869 - 1954)|
|Title:||Circé, from Ulysses, 1935|
|Reference:||D. 237, D. bk. 6|
|Medium:||Soft ground etching on Arches paper.|
|Edition:||Numbered from the edition of 150 (there were also 10 artist’s proofs) in pencil in the lower left; published by Limited Editions Club, New York.|
|Signature:||This work is hand signed by Henri Matisse (Le Cateau-Cambrésis, 1869 - Nice, 1954) in pencil in the lower right.|
Henri Matisse Circé, from Ulysses, 1935 is one of six illustrations that Matisse completed for an illustrated edition of James Joyce’s novel Ulysses based on the Greek epic poem The Odyssey by Homer. This etching is titled after Circe, a Greek goddess (sometimes described as a witch or sorceress) whom Odysseus and his men encountered during their long journey home to Ithaca. The crew found Circe on an otherwise deserted island and were invited to dine with her – unbeknownst to them, she had poisoned their food and soon all the men turned into pigs. Luckily, Odysseus had stayed behind at the ship and was spared – eventually able to save his men and return them to human form. Odysseus and Circe became lovers, and spent a year together on her island before Odysseus continued on his way.
Matisse’s portrayal of Circe is full of mysterious and sensual energy. Bodies and body parts undulate around a central nude figure. The confusion of forms alludes to Circe’s ability to change the forms of those around her, as when she turned Odysseus’ men into pigs. Matisse captures the feeling of the Circe episode beautifully and this etching with its soft lines is an excellent example of the masters work.
Created in 1935, this soft ground etching on Arches paper is hand-signed by Henri Matisse (Le Cateau-Cambrésis, 1869 - Nice, 1954) in pencil in the lower right margin. Numbered from the edition of 150 in pencil in the lower left margin, this work was published by Limited Editions Club, New York.
Catalogue Raisonné & COA:
Henri Matisse Circé, from Ulysses, 1935 is fully documented and referenced in the below catalogue raisonnés and texts (copies will be enclosed as added documentation with the invoices that will accompany the sale of the work).
1. Duthuit-Matisse, Marguerite. Henri Matisse: Catalogue raisonné de lœuvre grave Tome I. Paris: Claude Duthuit, 1983. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. 237
2. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany this artwork.
About the Framing:
Framed to museum-grade, conservation standards, Henri Matisse Circé, from Ulysses, 1935 is presented in a complementary moulding and finished with silk-wrapped mats and optical grade Plexiglas.