This large-scale facsimile edition brims with drama and shows why Jazz is considered Matisse’s most celebrated—and joyous—foray into the combination of color and form. The loose-leaf folded facsimile pages are gathered in a special ribbon-tied, cloth-bound presentation case. Many of these images were inspired by the theater or circus, settings that connect the visual and musical through improvisation—a theme that can be felt running through the compositions of the prints themselves. Such iconic prints as Icare (“Icarus”) and L’avaleur de sabres (“The Sword Swallower”) appear alongside paintbrush-composed notes Matisse wrote for himself as he created the images.This edition is accompanied by a special book mounted on the reverse of box cover, featuring both a translation of Matisse’s text and two new essays: one examining Jazz’s principal place among other artists’ books; the other surveying the history of artists’ books as a field.
Henri Matisse (1869-1954) was a painter, draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor who helped to define the revolutionary developments in the visual arts in the opening decades of the twentieth century.
Corrado Mingardi is a scholar of Bodoni.
Francesco Poli is the author of Postmodern Art 1945-2008.