MATISSE, Henri. Visages. By Pierre Reverdy. Illustrated with 14 full-page lithographs and 17 linocuts by Matisse. Small folio, 340 x 260 mm, loose as issued in the publisher's wrappers and cardboard slipcase. Preserved in a new tan cloth folding box. Paris: Editions du Chene, 1946.
One of the better volumes showcasing Matisse as a book-illustrator. In this particular instance, Matisse's illustrations inspired Reverdy's poems, and not the other way round. Matisse completed a series of portraits for a charity auction in 1944, and the publisher Andre Lejard proposed to publish them. Matisse suggested that Paul Reverdy write poems to accompany the lithographs and the poet readily agreed.
"It is obviously difficult to make a book backwards and Reverdy, in order to get a sense of the illustrations, introduced images involving 'heads,' 'figures,' 'profiles,' etc. into his poems" (Duthuit). In addition to the classic Matisse portraits there are handsome vignettes and initial letters done in linocut similar to those in Pasiphae. A mint copy of the book, albeit the fragile cardboard slipcase with some slight rubbing to the edges. One of an edition of 200 copies signed by Reverdy and Matisse. This copy is also inscribed by Matisse to Jeannine Marchal dated July 15, 1950.
Item nr. 158515