Mattise: Moroccan Sketchbooks

The quickly sketched Moroccan drawings, and especially those containing pedestrians and animals, evolved from Matisse's early art training during the 1890s at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. There his instructor Gustave Moreau directed him and his fellow students to study not only in the Louvre, but also, and more important, in the streets of Paris. Moreau applied the advice of popular drawing manuals, that a student should make "sketches after nature from the street, in the country, wherever you go." One should observe daily life and capture, in drawing, its spontaneous events, with an emphasis on "the effect," and as Eugène Carrière said, "...finally, the spectacle of life." Delacroix was often quoted that an artist should be able to sketch a man falling out of a window before he hit the ground. Such aggressive observation and sketching concepts, made formal in the term croquis succincts, were essential to the drawing style and attitudes of Matisse and his friends...

– Jack Cowart, Matisse's Moroccan Sketchbooks and Drawings: Self-discovery through Various Motifs
From the book Matisse In Morocco, The Paintings & Drawings 1912-1913







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