書名:UNKNOWN MATISSE, THE（ISBN=9780375711336）
Matisse was born in 1869 in northern France and grew up inBohain-en-Vermandois, near the Belgian border, on the drab, cold,wet beet fields of French Flanders. The same area, culturally andgeographically speaking, had produced Vincent van Gogh sixteenyears before. Thus begins the first full biography of an artistwho, more than any other, is associated with Mediterranean heat,brilliant color and light, and languid, luxurious interiors. Asauthor Hilary Spurling points out, an open window is one ofMatisse''s frequent motifs. Given the climate of his youth, thatimage speaks more of escape than of the sea air of the FrenchRiviera. If all biographers wrote with Spurling''s warmth, empathy, andintelligence, no one would likely want to read any other kind o . The Unknown Matisse is thoroughly researched, with pagesdevoted to minutiae that Spurling imparts with wit and style,making every nuance of Matisse''s early development fascinating. Shetells too the story of Matisse''s family life (Mme. Matisse riskedher respectable reputation by adopting Henri''s first, illegitimatedaughter), his brilliant ideas about art, and the years it took forhis paintings to find their rightful audience. It was her intentionfinally to give as much weight to Matisse''s life as has been givento his work, but in the process of examining the man she sheds newlight on the art as well. --Peggy Moorman
Henri Matisse is one of the masters of twentieth-century artand a household word to millions of people who find joy and meaningin his light-filled, colorful images--yet, despite all the booksdevoted to his work, the man himself has remained a mystery. Now,in the hands of the superb biographer Hilary Spurling, the unknownMatisse becomes visible at last. Matisse was born into a family of shopkeepers in 1869, in agloomy textile town in the north of France. His environment wasbrightened only by the sumptuous produced by the localweavers--magnificent brocades and silks that offered Matisse hisfirst vision of light and color, and which later became a familiarmotif in his paintings. He did not find his artistic vocation untilafter leaving school, when he struggled for years with his father,who wanted him to take over the family seed-store. Escaping toParis, where he was scorned by the French art establishment,Matisse lived for fifteen years in great poverty--an ordeal heshared with other young artists and with Camille Joblaud, themother of his daughter, Marguerite. But Matisse never gave up. Painting by painting, he struggledtoward the revelation that beckoned to him, learning about color,light, and form from such mentors as Signac, Pissarro, and theAustralian painter John Peter Russell, who ruled his own art colonyon an island off the coast o . In 1898, after a dramaticparting from Joblaud, Matisse met and married Am?lie Parayre, whobecame his staunchest ally. She and their two sons, Jean andPierre, formed with Marguerite his indispensable intimatecircle. From the first day of his wedding trip to Ajaccio in Corsica,Matisse realized that he had found his spiritual home: the south,with its heat, color, and clear light. For years he workedunceasingly toward the style by which we know him now. But in 1902,just as he was on the point of achieving his goals as a painter, hesuddenly left Paris with his family for the hometown he detested,and returned to the somber, muted palette he had so recentlydiscarded. Why did this happen? Art historians have called this regressionMatisse''s "dark period," but none have ever guessed the reason forit. What Hilary Spurling has uncovered is nothing less than theinvolvement of Matisse''s in-laws, the Parayres, in a monumentalscandal which threatened to topple the banking system andgovernment of France. The authorities, reeling from the divisiveDreyfus case, smoothed over the so-called Humbert Affair, and didit so well that the story of this twenty-year scam--and thehumiliation and ruin its climax brought down on the unsuspectingMatisse and his family--have been erased from memory untilnow. It took many months for Matisse to come to terms with thisdisgrace, and nearly as long to return to the bold course he hadbeen pursuing before the interruption. What lay ahead were thesummers in St-Tropez and Collioure; the outpouring of "Fauve"paintings; Matisse''s experiments with sculpture; and the beginningsof acceptance by dealers and collectors, which, by 1908, put hislife on a more secure footing. Hilary Spurling''s discovery of the Humbert Affair and its effectson Matisse''s health and work is an extraordinary revelation, but itis only one aspect of her achievement. She enters into Matisse''sstruggle for expression and his tenacious progress from hisnorthern origins to the life-giving light of the Mediterranean withrare sensitivity. She brings to her task an astonishing breadth ofknowledge about his family, about fin-de-si?cle Paris, theconventional Salon painters who shut their doors on him, hisartistic comrades, his early patrons, and his incipient rivalrywith Picasso. In Hilary Spurling, Matisse has found a biographer with adetective''s ability to unearth crucial facts, the narrative powerof a novelist, and profound empathy for her subject. From the Hardcover edition.
IllustrationsFamily TreePrefaceCHAPTER ONE · 1869—1881: Bohain-en-VermandoisCHAPTER TWO · 1882—189l: Bohain and St-QuentinCHAPTER THREE · 1891-1895: ParisCHAPTER FOUR" 1895—1896: Belle-Ile-en-MerCHAPTER HVE. 1897—t898: Paris, Belle-Ite and LondonC,APTER SIX · 1898—1899: Ajaccio and ToulouseCHAPTER SEVEN · 19oo-19o2: ParisCHAPTER EI6HT · 1902—1903: Paris and BohainCHAPTER NINE · 1904: St-TropezCHAPTER TEN · 1905: CollioureCHAPTER ELEVEn · t906—1907: Paris, Algeria and CollioureCHAPTER TWELVE · 1907—1908: Paris, Collioure, Italy andGermanyKey to NotesNotesIndex
Hilary Spurling was born in England and educated at OxfordUniversity. She has been theater critic and literary editor of TheSpectator, is now a regular book reviewer for the Daily Telegraph,and has written biographies of Ivy Compton-Burnett and Paul Scott.She lives in London.From the Hardcover edition.