Cover image for Matisse Picasso
Matisse Picasso
Cowling, Elizabeth.
Publication Information:
London : Tate Publishing, [2002]

Physical Description:
400 pages : illustrations (chiefly color), portraits ; 31 cm
General Note:
"Published to accompany the exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 13 February-19 May 2003 ; Tate Modern, London, 11 May-August 2002; Les Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris, 25 September 2002-6 January 2003"--T.p. verso.
Added Author:


Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
N6853.M33 A4 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



This work accompanies an exhibition organised, in partnership, by Tate Modern, the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, and the Museum of Modern Art. It examines the crucial relationship between Matisse and Picasso.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

It may have been obvious at the time, but the fact that the two (arguably) greatest painters of the 20th century exchanged ideas fluidly, obliquely and prolifically comes as a shock when put as starkly as in this catalogue and the international blockbuster exhibition it accompanies. The authors, eminent curators all, put together the exhibition (currently hanging at New York's Museum of Modern Art) and contribute a total of 34 short essays contrasting particular works and exploring the currents of the two men's mutual influence, including fauvism and cubism. Matisse's Le bonheur de vivre (1905-6) cemented itself in Picasso's mind from their first meeting, and would "reverberate in Picasso's imagination throughout his life," writes Golding. Varnedoe notes the influence of Matisse's Goldfish and Palette on Picasso's 1915 Harlequin, recalling how a dealer said that Matisse declared that his goldfish had "led to" the other man's harlequin. Unfortunately, an indifferent layout and setting of the text takes some of the charge out of the comparisons-a problem that extends to the flat-seeming cover. And a fairly big chunk of Picasso's oeuvre may look dated to many readers, particularly in comparing his late drawings with Matisse's cut-outs. But the mini-essays are of high quality, and anyone who cares about 20th century art will want to be able to trace the overt and covert steals and competitions chronicled here, as well as the often warm personal relationship. (Feb.) Forecast: For readers who don't want to pay the high admission fee here, there is Jack Flam's Matisse and Picasso: The Story of Their Rivalry and Friendship (Forecasts, Jan. 6) It has fewer illustrations, but gets at the exchanges. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Accompanying a major exhibition at the Tate Modern in London, the Pompidou Center in Paris, and New York City's Museum of Modern Art, this is the first exhibition catalog to examine the visual dialog between the great 20th-century artists Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. Chronologically divided by period and style into sections comparing and contrasting artworks by each master, the catalog offers 34 thought-provoking essays by the exhibition's curators. In one example, two Matisse paintings from 1915-16 are compared to a Picasso painting from 1921, revealing how Matisse was absorbing stylistic elements from Picasso's cubist works and how, in turn, Picasso was translating Matisse's interest in color into his paintings. An introductory essay succinctly describes the influences and responses of each artist and how their relationship developed from a rivalry of style and temperament to a true respect for each other's work. A scholarly chronology and 220 color illustrations of all exhibited works add value to this volume. Recommended for all art collections. [See also Jack Flam's Matisse and Picasso: A Story of Their Rivalry and Friendship, LJ 2/15/03.-Ed.]-Sandra Rothenberg, Framingham State Coll., MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Henri Matisse (1869-1954) and Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) shaped the course of modern art. As this catalog shows, their art fed on the competition and dialogue the two men shared in public and in private. Equally important were the dialogues across artistic media in which these artists engaged; in their work, the two dimensions of painting or drawing responded to the three dimensions of sculptural practice. The format of the catalog (an introduction and 34 mini-essays written by six contributing curators) does not lend itself to the sustained theoretical arguments developed by Yve-Alain Bois in Matisse and Picasso (CH, Jul'99). Yet, this new catalog complements Bois's work, synthesizing the breadth of the art of Matisse and Picasso as it documents the exhibition across a year of permutations in London, Paris, and New York (May 2002-May 2003). Scholars will await an expanded chronology and bemoan the absence of a bibliography. But the reproductions, chronology, catalog essays, and accompanying notes offer insights into the work of Matisse and Picasso that will interest general audiences and advanced researchers alike. All levels. J. E. Housefield Southwest Texas State University