Matisse: The Joy of Things

Henri Matisse, Interior with Egyptian Curtain, 1948, oil on canvas (© 2017 Succession H. Matisse and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C.)
Henri Matisse, Interior with Egyptian Curtain, 1948, oil on canvas (© 2017 Succession H. Matisse and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C.)

Claire Messud reviews Matisse in the Studio at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, on view through July 9, 2017.

Messud writes: "this glorious exhibition impresses the viewer also with simpler, more atavistic and abiding truths: Matisse’s passion for color, for light, for pattern, for flowers and the female figure; and his conviction—borne out in almost every one of his paintings and sculptures, whether a sublime nude woman’s torso small enough fit in the palm of your hand or an imposing complex oil painting such as Interior with Egyptian Curtain (1948)—that what endures is certainly matter: the flesh, the fruit, the flowers, the folds of fabric. But what counts, above all, is the emotion that we invest in that matter. As Ellen McBreen writes, 'the authenticity which most concerned Matisse was that of his own emotional response.'"