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Unknown Matisse 1869 to 1908

written by Hilary Spurling

Penguin Books Ltd | ISBN 9780140176049

Paperback – 512 pages


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'Spurling's account of Matisse's first forty years is gripping, full of shocks and colour, judicious and informative' A.S. Byatt, Guardian

'A terrific achievement' Michael Holroyd

In this opening volume of the first biography devoted to the artist, Hilary Spurling uncovers the dramatic and sometimes shocking story – almost entirely unknown until now – of the making of the greatest French painter of the twentieth century.

'A superlative achievement. Spurling brings Matisse the man into startlingly combative life. Outstanding as an interpreter of his art and life alike, she provides fresh illumination on every page' Richard Cork, The Times

'Shows Spurling at her brilliant best as passionate scholar, traveller and storyteller. Her heroic researches – from Paris to St Petersberg – have unearthed a family scandal worthy of Zola, and a psychological portrait of the artistic temperament unmatched by any previous study in French or English. Lavishly illustrated and lovingly well written' Richard Holmes, Daily Telegraph, Books of the Year

'Matisse is truly amazing, and it is an amazing story. Spurling's life has uncovered a huge amount of unfamiliar material. Outstanding' Philip Hensher, Spectator

'A definitive biography that reads like a detective story . . . truly indispensable' John Elderfield, Museum of Modern Art, New York


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