The Last Works comprise 40 lithographs that were designed by Matisse just before he died.
Based on his larger cut-out designs, the lithographic plates were completed in 1954 and finally published in 1958 as a tribute to Matisse. Despite their 60 year age, these lithographs are in perfect condition.
In 1953-54, Matisse worked with renowned lithographer Fernand Mourlot and the art publisher Tériade to reinterpret his cut-out works as lithographs. Matisse had already worked many times with Tériade, including on the famous Jazz Portfolio in 1947. His lithographs were frequently included in Verve magazine, Tériade’s quarterly review of arts and letters in France. Fernand Mourlot worked with many of the great artists of the period, including Marc Chagall, Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró.
Matisse oversaw the first proofs for the publication in 1954, including the cover design, however he died before the magazine could be published. Consequently, this special edition of Verve - published in 1958 - became a tribute to Matisse’s final years and was titled ‘Dernières Oeuvres de Matisse 1950-54’ (Last works of Matisse). The publication featured 40 original lithographs based on his final cut-outs and complete copies are now rare.
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