Henri Matisse drawings feature in letters to wife

Henri Matisse’s ecstatic canvases are some of the best-loved works in the history of art.

So this rare collection of letters to his wife, which includes a number of original drawings, will have broad appeal at a sale of books and manuscripts at Christie’s London on December 5.

Matisse letters wife

Matisse gives his wife a snapshot of what he's been working on

The correspondence spans the months October 1912 to February 1913, when Matisse was working in Tangiers.

Sotheby’s comments: “This is an important series of letters by Henri Matisse (1869-1954) dating from a crucial period in the great French master’s career.

“His two visits painting in Morocco brought forth a transformation in his work, informed by arab cultures, costumes, textures and the brilliant sunlight.”

During this trip, Matisse loosened the figurative approach he’d adopted in the early 1900s. His work became increasingly expressionistic.

We have a handwritten letter from Auguste Renoir, another central figure in the development of 20th century art.

A 15th century hand-painted Book of Hours is valued at £60,000-80,000 ($79,152-105,536) in the same auction.

These books contain selections of psalms and prayers from the Bible. They were commissioned by members of European nobility and often feature personalised paintings.

The artisans who made them have largely been lost to history.

This example is attributed to a figure known as The Master of the Munich Gold Legend.

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