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Fondation Beyeler

Art historical research
Technological analysis
Conservation and Treatment

Art historical research

After a review of the published research findings with respect to the “Papiers découpés” in Matisse’s oeuvre, an intensive discussion with the conservators began, with the aim of comparing the existing sources (written records, visual records, and interpretations) with the results of the technological investigations. In addition, contact was made with staff of the Archives Matisse who proved highly interested in a collaboration. This will soon be pursued, especially with regard to the unpublished material (above all photographs) kept there. Apparently Matisse preserved all of the snippets left over from his cut-outs. This will enable us to reconstruct the paper sheets he employed, and should provide interesting insights with regard to potential preliminary drawings, but also with regard to possible alterations in the color of the paper over time. As the artist kept these snippets in drawers, away from light, a comparison with the finished work should indicate the extent to which the pigments have faded.