by Alfred H. Barr, Jr.
Museum of Modern Art, $12.50.
This splendidly produced volume is the most comprehensive book to date about Matisse. It is arranged in sections, each covering a few years, which deal first with the artist’s life, then with his work and its reception by the public and critics. Although the documentation is as exhaustive as painstaking research could make it, the method of organization results in a clear, step-by-step account of Matisse’s development. Among other things, the book draws attention to Matisse’s sculplwre, which has been rather neglected; and to the intensity of the creative struggle out of which have come the happiest canvases of our day. The several hundred illustrations, about a score of them in color, are extraordinary in their range. In addition to his paintings, they cover his drawings, sculpture, theater designs, and illustrated books; and there is a collection of photographs documenting his life. Admirers of Matisse owe Mr. Barr warm congratulations for this scholarly, imaginative, and exciting compilation.