HENRI MATISSE by Ernest Raboff


Email this review


Of the 16 tries in Raboff's ""Art for Children"" series on famous painters, 15 are being reissued; this is the only new one. Unfortunately, it is less satisfactory than the others, which combined biographical sketches and chronologies with excellent pointers on looking at art; like a knowledgeable guide, Raboff explained how the artist leads the eye, and discussed the effect of color, introducing useful vocabulary, symbolism, and ideas. In contrast, this posthumous volume suffers from too much telescoped, undigested material: ""Cubism, created by Pablo Picasso, assisted by George Braque in 1907, friends of Henri Matisse, father of fauvism, became a brief, lovely, learning pause in his continuing efforts to evolve fauvism from its emotional youth to objective, mature age, adulthood."" This (a fair sample of Raboff's style here) might serve a student for review; to the novice, however, it's baffling at best. Raboff talks a lot about Matisse's attitude toward women (among other things, he admired their passivity); Matisse was as he was, but Raboff's enthusiastic agreement is offensive. Meanwhile, there is some well-reproduced art here--but why does a Van Gogh used to illustrate ""the use of raw pure color"" appear in black and white when color is used on the same page? A disappointing conclusion to a deservedly praised series.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1988
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Lippincott