Henri Matisse: The Lost Interview

On August 5th 1946, two years after Paris was liberated from the Germans, a young American soldier named Jerome Seckler visited Henri Matisse. Seckler had a passion for modern art. He made it his mission to meet with, and interview, some of the leading French artists of the time: Matisse was on his list. Until now this interview has never been published: here it is. Only a few months earlier than Seckler’s visit, Matisse was living in Vence, along the Côte d’Azur. He had been suffering from duodenal cancer for five years at this point and was often overcome with pain that made him toss and groan through the night. One night he handed his night nurse a paper cut out of a swallow to cover a stain on the wall. It was made from white writing paper, the only kind available in newly postwar Paris, rather than the colorful papers he had access to in Vence. The magnificent show of those cut-outs continues at New York’s Museum of Modern Art until February 10.

Leave a Comment