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By Catherine C. Bock Weiss

First released in 1996. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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This theory of the artwork as providing an experience analogous to religious trancendence and to a ritual healing, would be developed from Duthuit's thought by Pierre Schneider from 1970 onward. The greatly revised and expanded version of Duthuit's essays, Les Fauves, was published in 1949 (English ed. The Fauvist Painters, 1950), the same year that he published "Matisse and Byzantine Space" in the English-Ianguage journal Transition Forty-Nine. 62 He answers the postwar agitation for socially engaged and collective art by offering the cuIturally integrated art of Byzantium as a model of what is desirable in the relation of art to society.

3 5 Matisse claims to be sincere, working from inner necessity and instinct, and he spurns the easier path for the more difficult: "For the time being, 1 am working predominantly in black and gray, with neutral, subdued tones, because 1 feit that this was necessary for me right now. It was quite simply a question of hygiene. If 1 had continued on the other road, which 1 knew so weil, 1 could have ended up as a mannerist. " Second, Matisse claims that he must move forward, try something new, make progress: "When you have achieved what you want in a certain sphere, when you have exploited the possibilities that lie in one direction, you must, when the time comes, change course, seach for something new.

The brutal power and individuality of the earlier works are still present in Matisse's CUTTent production, Sembat insists, only disciplined, submitted to a harmonious ensemble. "He reenters, it will be said, the tradition of the great Masters! Actually, he has never left it," Sembat coneludes, rhetorically feathering the sharp edge of distinction between Matisse's present and his innovating past, as weIl as refuting any charge of a reactionary "return" to tradition. That the charm and seeming facility of the Nice works are but the flowering of Matisse's gifts, the proof of their maturity, was a common assertion in the literature that echoes Sembat's position.

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