Object Image

Le Cauchemar de l'Eléphant blanc [The Nightmare of the White Elephant] (from 'Jazz')

To create the twenty vibrantly coloured designs, Matisse cut out and arranged shapes from large sheets of paper painted with bright gouache (opaque watercolour). For the publication, these were translated into stencils and printed, using a technique known as pochoir, with the same gouache paints as his original cut-outs. The pages of handwritten manuscript were reproduced using photolithography.

The images are based on themes from the circus, folklore and Matisse’s travels; the text is a reflection on life, painting and the making of the book. The balance of manuscript with colour plates was likened by Matisse to greenery and flowers in a bouquet. The title, Jazz, reflects this overall struct...

1947
Pochoir print on paper
42.0 x 65.5cm
GMA 2284.8
Image © Succession H. Matisse. All rights reserved. DACS, London 2023