Fiercely competitive, Matisse and Picasso engaged in one of the most formidable artistic dialogues of this century. The intense beginning of the relationship between the two artists-from the time they met in 1906 until 1917, when Matisse left for Nice-has already been amply studied, but this is the only detailed examination of their continuous exchange during the second part of their career. In Matisse and Picasso, Yve-Alain Bois stages the intertwined evolution of the two giants of modern art as if it were an ongoing game of chess between two masters.The postwar period, during which they often met and exhibited together, is the most poignant in their long friendship. It includes monuments such as Picasso's War and Peace murals in Vallauris, which can be read as a response to Matisse's Vence chapel.
Matisse and Picasso's dense plot and rich narrative make this work read more like a suspense novel than a traditional art history treatise. Bois's thoroughly researched historical demonstration is supported by striking visual juxtaposition of works by the two artists brought together here for the first time, making this award-winning study a major contribution to the history of twentieth-century art.