'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 20 November 2014

Review: Matisse's Garden

A slice of the works of French artist Henri Matisse is brought to life in this semi-biographical picture book featuring striking papercut illustrations by Italian illustration Cristina Amodeo.

Capturing Matisse's obsession with papercutting (which he turned to in the 1940s), Amodeo has beautifully captured his lusciously-coloured style in this book, penned by Samantha Friedman.

Primarily known as a painter, Matisse was also a printmaker, sculptor and draughtsman. He was also a formative creator of plastic arts. Matisse began papercutting (called gouaches découpés), after becoming wheelchair bound, post-surgery, in 1941. He created cuttings sometimes on an enormous scale, and called his creations 'painting with scissors'.

In Friedman's gorgeous slice-of-life tale, children will learn about Henri's beautiful creations, often inspired by his frequent trips to Tahiti, where he fell in love with the people and landscape.

Featuring fold-out pages of Matisse's own striking artwork during this papercutting phase (addendum pages feature information on each of Matisse's creations used in the book), this is a divinely-produced children's picture book, and a wondrous peek into the world of a man who left such a unique and lasting impression on the hearts of art-lovers the world over.

A visual feast extraordinaire.

Title: Matisse's Garden
Author: Samantha Friedman
Illustrator: Cristina Amodeo
Publisher: MoMA, $24.99 RRP
Publication Date: 1 October 2014
Format: Hard cover
ISBN: 9780870709104
For ages: 4 - 8
Type: Picture Book