London's Royal Academy of Arts is bringing the studio of Henri Matisse back to life in an upcoming exhibition featuring some 65 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints and cutouts by the artist.
These artworks will be accompanied by around 35 objects from the painter's highly eclectic personal collection, with items such as a Roman torso, African masks and Chinese porcelain, as well as North African textiles from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Matisse selected the items in his collection primarily for their aesthetic appeal, but also as symbols of the traditions they represent. Most of the objects are loaned from private collections or from the Musée Matisse in Nice, in the South of France. Some are set to be publicly exhibited outside of France for the first time.
The exhibition explores the role these objects played in the painter's creative process. It is arranged in five sections. The first looks at the way in which Matisse used the objects in his collection as actors, reappearing under various guises in several of the artist's works.
The second section highlights the links between Matisse's African sculptures and his representation of the human figure. The third section looks at the face in Matisse's work, and the fourth section examines his 1920s Nice interiors, in which the artist increasingly relied on studio props from the Islamic world. The final section explores the language of signs, notably the influence of Chinese calligraphy.
Henri Matisse was born in 1969 in Cateau-Cambrésis, France and died in 1954 in Nice. One of the leading figures of Fauvism, he is known for his exotic inspirations, notably fed by his own travels, as well as for his paper cutouts.
The Royal Academy of Arts was founded by King George III in 1768. It is an independent privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects.
"Matisse in the Studio" runs August 5 to November 12, 2017, at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK | More information: www.royalacademy.org.uk.