Matisse and the Sea

A new view of Henri Matisse’s important painting Bathers with a Turtle.

Matisse and the Sea examines the influence of the sea across modernist artist Henri Matisse’s career, which included painting in coastal locations on the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

This book brings together artwork in a range of media (painting, sculptures, paper cutouts, drawings, prints, ceramics, and textiles), and has a particular focus on Matisse’s iconic coastal painting, Bathers with a Turtle (1907-08), exploring the range of sources, from Cezanne to African sculpture, that informed this picture.

Simon Kelly, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Saint Louis Art Museum, is the lead author and editor of the exhibition catalog, with essays from prominent Matisse scholars John Klein, professor of art history and archaeology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, and Ellen McBreen, professor and chair of art history at Wheaton College. Paintings conservator Melissa Gardner provides a technical essay highlighting a new conservation analysis of Bathers with a Turtle.

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