Matisse in his studio at the Hotel Regina, Nice, c1952. Photograph: Lydia Delectorskaya © Succession Henri Matisse
As he got older, Matisse was in a wheelchair and could no longer work with an easel. He did however have plenty of creative energy and resorted to working with scissors to cut out paper of various colors and direct his assistant to lay them out to how his paintings would be composed. The medium took a life of its own and soon no painting was necessary. In the last 13 years of his life Matisse created many colorful graphic cut outs which still hold a contemporary resonance today.
The Snail, 1953. Tate © Succession Henri Matisse/DACS 2013
‘A starburst of a broken heart scissored in scarlet’: The Fall of Icarus, 1943. Photograph: Private Collection; Alberto Ricci © Succession Henri Matisse/ DACS 2014