“The jewels or the arabesques never overwhelm my drawings from the model, because these jewels and arabesques form part of my orchestration.”
Henri Matisse told critic Gaston Diehl in a letter dated 1947 that “la révélation m’est venue d’Orient”: but this revelation was by no means a sudden shock. As we can tell from his paintings and drawings, it was spawned by a growing familiarity with the Orient and gradually developed in the course of the artist’s travels, encounters and visits to exhibitions and shows.
Hosted by the Scuderie del Quirinale and promoted by the Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo and by Roma Capitale – Assessorato alla Cultura, Creatività e Promozione Artistica, the exhibition is produced by the Azienda Speciale Palaexpo in conjunction with MondoMostre, while the catalogue is published by Skira Editore. The exhibition will be showcasing over one hundred works by Matisse, including several of his most outstanding masterpieces – on display in Italy for the very first time – from some of the world’s leading museums such as the Tate in London, the MET and the MoMa in New York, the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, the Centre Pompidou and the Orangerie in Paris, and the leading museums of Philadelphia and Washington, to mention but a few.