5 February 2018


A holiday in Morocco inspired a visit to the London Library – in order to borrow Matisse in Morocco: The Paintings and Drawings, 1912-13 published by Thames and Hudson in 1990. Henri Matisse arrived in Tangier on 29th January 1912. Much to his dismay, it poured with rain for the next week.’Shall we ever see the sun in Morocco?’ he wrote to Gertrude Stein after a few days. But he ‘kept himself busy by painting a vase of irises in his room, a dark image that makes much of the irregular pattern created by flowers against an ornate dressing table. Only the pale yellow and green stripes reflected in the dressing table’s mirror hint at the extraordinary colours that Matisse was to discover in Tangier when the clouds finally lifted’ (The New York Times).