Each month Rare Posters Inc. offers bespoke research and analysis on the most valuable and collectable modern and contemporary artists of today. These valuations offer a snapshot view into the trends of today’s art market and can help art lovers build valuable assets and investments with the art they love. This September, Rare Posters Inc. covers the French artist Henri Matisse.
A draughtsman, printmaker and sculptor, Henri Matisse (1869 - 1954) has been ascribed with definitively influencing revolutionary developments in the early 20th Century’s artistic traditions together with Marcel Duchamp and Pablo Picasso.
At the Academy Julien, Matisse commenced his career as a landscape painter following in the traditions of Poussin, Watteau and Manet, copying their paintings in the Louvre. Matisse became an expert in color theory and became an expert at creating brightly expressive works of art. This tendency placed him into the short-lived Fauvist movement - which emphasized painterly qualities over representational or realistic values. Although his work was initially received with flagrant criticism, his Nu Blue (1907) for example being burned at the Chicago Armory Show of 1913, Matisse’s works were also collected by the important and acclaimed collectors duo Leo and Gertrude Stein as early as 1906. The first work they collected of the artist was Woman with a Hat (1905). In as much his oeuvre was viewed alongside Renoir, Cezanne and Picasso during Gertrude Stein’s salons - ie: esteemed and exclusive viewings of the Stein collection inside the family’s living room attended by top thinkers and figures of the day. During the 1940’s, with inspiration garnered from his travels to Morocco, as well as the move he made to the South of France where he would ultimately live until the end of his life, Matisse began to create “Guache Découpés”. Matisse created beautiful graphic scenes and figures which he would cut from painted paper, a method he called painting with scissors. With this method he demonstrated the ability, as a graphic artist, to playfully and simply use color for which he is now most renowned. Matisse created numerous book covers and hundreds of lithographs at Mourlot studios in Paris.
Today, the top price reached for a Matisse painting at auction is $33.6 million, while original signed multiples (lithographs or etchings) of Matisse can sell at auction between $5,000 to $1,000,000 for portfolios. Prices of Matisse art works have risen over the last decades in particular. Though tempered, this trend can also be noted in original exhibition posters. In 1997, La Perruche et la Sirene was worth $50, while today it is worth $125; similarly Icarus was $25 and has risen in value to $250; The Wine Press was $20 and is now worth $200; The Dancers was $20 and is now worth $175; Polynesie, le Ciel was $50 and is now worth $275; Goldfish and Sculpture was $22 and is now worth $200; Nude with Orange was $50 and is now worth $400. For people thinking of collecting Matisse, but do not want to invest too much, this range of original exhibition posters can be a comprehensive and sustainable way to begin. Mattise lovers who are simply looking to decorate that spaces, lower end poster reproductions are readily available as well, including top pieces like La Femme au Manteau Violet for $45, Icarus for $75 and Still Life on Table for $75.
- By Jason-Louise A. Graham
For the month of August we will also offer free shipping on select Javacheff Christo items at www.Rareposters.com.
Be sure to follow our monthly signature auctions at Live Auctioneers and Invaluable Auctions in which many of our top investment artists in contemporary art will feature.