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MATISSE FROM A TO Z by Marie Sellier


by Marie Sellier & translated by Claudia Zoe Bedrick

Age Range: 7 & up

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-87226-475-0

 A French ABC, to be approached with heart and eyes wide open. Sellier introduces Matisse in a small volume that offers readers the intimacy of browsing through a notebook stocked with bright reproductions, line drawings, and black-and-white photos of the artist. To maintain the alphabetical sequence, the title words remain in French; thus, ``Appendicite'' is the first word, translated to ``Appendicitis'' and followed by a few paragraphs about the illness that led to Matisse's initial attempt to paint. The structure may confuse readers at first; it is an arty choice but it reflects the painter's heritage and the quixotic selection of subjects creates a humanistic portrait of Matisse, as well as a palpable feel for his art. The conversational text unravels the mystery of art by sharing its secrets. For example, the pages titled ``Fenàtre,'' or ``Window,'' explain how a window sheds light on the painter's work and how the canvas frames the world just as a window does. Other terms launch discussions of Matisse's influences, techniques, and his work in a context of other painters. Throughout, the joyous dance of colors and movement the artist created to sustain, record, and celebrate his own life is uplifting. (Biography. 7+)