Henri Matisse Lithograph

Though he is better known as a painter and sculptor, Matisse became an avid printmaker in 1906. He was especially involved in the process of lithography, a medium which led to black and white illustrations for books and over 100 original lithographs at the Mourlot studio. The lithographs were often in edition of 25 to 50 and included serial imagery such as reclining nudes, interiors and portraits. The lithographs were mostly in black and white, retaining the same sense of spontanaeity and intimacy as his pencil sketches. Matisse preferred lithography for this reason. The artist eventually installed a printing press in his own studio. The first color lithograph Matisse created for Mourlot was a poster of his 1935 painting La Reve. Towards the end of his life, Matisse also created  a suite of 39 lithographs which recreated his famous paper cut-outs. This suite was published in 1958 after Matisse’s death. Of this series,the most recognized is Nu Bleu X and XI which feature the familiar blue dancing figure from the Jazz series. His lithographs are currently in the world renowned collection of Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Tate Modern.