Etched in Memory: Matisse’s Early Portraits


Henri Matisse’s experimentation with etching started during the tumultuous year that World War I began, when the Matisse home served as a meeting point and respite for friends, neighbors, and refugees. The artist had recently acquired a small second-hand printing press that allowed him to produce rapid etchings that gave the immediacy of snapshots. During a significant period beginning in 1914, Matisse made dozens of intimate portraits of family and friends in his inner circle and 14 of these etchings are presented in this exhibition with images of Madame Matisse, Josette Gris, Walter Pach, and others.

Curated by Katy Rothkopf, The Anne and Ben Cone Memorial Director of the Ruth R. Marder Center for Matisse Studies in consultation with Thomas Primeau, The Charles K. Williams, II, Senior Conservator of Works of Art on Paper, Philadelphia Museum of Art.