ALS in French, signed “H. Matisse,” one page both sides, 8.25 x 5.25, April 19, 1946. Letter to a friend, written from Vence on the French Riviera, in full (translated): "I regret not having seen you during my stay in Paris to chat about the book that you are doing at Lezard's—which will certainly be interesting. I am waiting for him to write me about it. I picture you leading the life of a wise man at Mirepoix, working to the rhythm of spring, which must be very beautiful where you are. Here it is almost gone—the temperature is already hotter now than it usually is in the summer. It was very kind of you to write me all about my son's adventure—I hope that it doesn't turn out so bad. I will receive your son, or any of those you send me, when I will next be in Paris—Thank you as always for [taking care of] my little girl, I hope that she isn't too noisy—I will relieve you of her within the next few days. Believe in my best wishes." In fine condition. Accompanied by a carbon copy receipt from B. Altman & Co. who sold the piece in 1977, as well as photographs of it in a framed display.
In this wonderful letter, Matisse mentions his son—either Jean Gerard Matisse or Pierre Louis Auguste Matisse—as well as his "fillette," possibly a beloved pet as none of his immediate female family members were children at this time. Despite his physical frailty in old age, Matisse began to help with the design of the Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence in 1947, and it was completed in 1951. Often referred to as the Matisse Chapel, he considered it to be his masterpiece.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.