Fleur de Lys. 59-60


Henri Matisse created 139 illustrated books between 1914 and 1954. Of all the artistic contributions Matisse made over those 36 years, the Poemes series was one of the most personal and involved. Matisse delved into the writings of Charles d’Orleans, French poet (1391-1465) during WWII. He fell for the love poems that Charles d’Orleans wrote for his true love while imprisoned in the Tower of London. When Charles d’Orleans returned to France he brought the poems with him. Matisse chose from literally hundreds of poems, finding forty referring mostly to the carefree nature of young lovers, courtly love and one’s love of country as the common theme among his choices – he created a single illustration for each poem in celebration of France.

Year: 1950
Medium: Lithograph
Image size: 16 x 10 ½
Edition: 1200
Printer: Mourlot on vélin d'Arches
Publisher: Tériade Editeur
Catalog ref: Chapon, pp. 297-298; Rauch 174; Stern 73; Duthuit 28; "The Arts of the French Book" 35
Signature: Signed by the artist on justification page