Photo Friday: The beasts of the sea

20140627 [Matisse]

This week our Photo Friday comes from a book in our Special Collections, Matisse Paper Cutouts by Jean Guichard-Meili, published in 1984. The image shown is Les bêtes de la mer or “The Beasts of the Sea”, produced in 1950, and now owned by the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.

Thirty years after this book was published, Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs is an exhibition currently running at Tate Modern until 7th September. The exhibition represents a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see so many of the artist’s works in one place and discover Matisse’s final artistic triumph.


In his late sixties, when ill health first prevented Matisse from painting, he began to cut into painted paper with scissors to make drafts for a number of commissions. In time, Matisse chose cut-outs over painting: he had invented a new medium. London is first to host this exhibition, before it travels to New York at the Museum of Modern Art and after which the works return to galleries and private owners around the world.

Access to all Special Collections material is through the LJMU Archivist.


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