Friday, June 22, 2012

Ulysses, illustrated by Matisse

In a recent post, Brain Pickings showed us a stunning version of James Joyce’s Ulysses with illustrations by Henri Matisse. Unable to own the book ourselves, we default to the words of the author: “a glorious leather-bound tome with 22-karat gold accents, gilt edges, moire fabric endsheets, and a satin page marker.” Despite its outward beauty, the etchings are the real collectors’ items:

Last year we were thrilled to immerse ourselves in the richly colored paintings included in our title Miss Etta and Dr. Claribel: Bringing Matisse to America, written and illustrated by Susan Fillion. The book tells the true story of two unmarried sisters from a German-Jewish family in Baltimore amassing one of the major collections of modern art in America. Before long, they had one of the foremost collections of Matisse’s work in the world.

Fillion, an artist and museum educator in Baltimore, carefully mixes works by Matisse, Picasso, and others alongside originals of her own in the book. The result is a detailed, intimate commentary on the two women and the art they shared.

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