Matisse in the Barnes Foundation

About the Author

Yve-Alain Bois is an author and professor of art history at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey.

Matisse in the Barnes Foundation

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Yve-Alain Bois

Matisse in the Barnes Foundation is a vibrant celebration—slipcased and beautifully produced—of the Barnes’s extraordinary Matisse collection; comprised of 59 works from every stage of the artist’s career, it is among the most important in the world.


At the heart of the collection are Matisse’s most historically significant paintings, Le Bonheur de vivre, also called The Joy of Life, and The Dance, the monumental mural that Albert C. Barnes commissioned to fill the lunettes of the Foundation’s main gallery, transforming both the space and the artist’s career. Editor Yve-Alain Bois addresses the evolution of The Dance and its role in Matisse’s career.


An essay by Karen Butler looks at what Barnes thought of Matisse, and Claudine Grammont considers how and why he collected his work. The works themselves, sumptuously reproduced, are the subjects of interpretive analyses that tell the stories of their acquisition and address their critical reception. The book includes major contributions by Barbara Buckley and Jennifer Mass on the artist’s technique and a report on the latest findings on the pigments used in Le Bonheur de vivre.

  • 3-volume set
  • Hardcover
  • 13.1 x 15.9 x 6.5 inches
  • 824 pages, 656 illustrations
  • Published: 2016

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