In our film, shot in the gallery, Max introduces you to our current exhibition of works by Henri Matisse. The exhibition showcases the great suite of lithographs, Florilège des Amours de Ronsard, made by Henri Matisse in Paris in 1948. Each image depicts a different love poem written by the 16th-century French poet Pierre de Ronsard.
These are images of joy made in the final years of Matisse's life. Such was his delight with the subject matter that over the years Matisse expanded the commission from 30 lithographs to the 126 which made up the finished project.
This now very rare suite was printed by Mourlot Frères in Paris on pure rag tinted wove Papeteries d’Arches paper in an edition of 320 sets only, of which 300 were for sale. It was published in 1948.
As Max explains, the lithographs are not just illustrations of the poems, but rather they are a visual interpretation of Ronsard's words, expressing the same sentiment and passion through the medium of art.