Treatment FOCUS: Henri Matisse's Pasiphae, Chant de Minos
It wasn’t until he was in his late 60s that Henri Matisse—best known for his brightly colored paintings—began creating illustrations for artists’ books. He produced over a dozen of these limited editions, meant not just to be read, but collected and admired.
In his 1946 essay “How I Made My Books,” Matisse explains how he arrived at identifying the colors, kind of printmaking, and typography used for each book. “These elements are determined by the demands of harmony for the book as a whole,” he writes. “They are never decided upon before the work is undertaken, but develop coincidentally as inspiration and the direction of my pursuits indicate.”