Side by Side
Picasso v Matisse

by Sebastian Smee

ISBN 1 876631 325


Published April 2002


"If only everything that Matisse and I did (in 1906-08) could be put side by side. Nobody ever looked at Matisse's work as thoroughly as I did. And he at mine"
Pablo Picasso

These two painters of the Twentieth Century influenced each from the start, and their relationship grew into one of the greatest creative rivalries the world has ever seen. This is the story of that relationship, from its beginnings in the salons of Paris and under the auspices of Gertrude Stein, through the rise of both their reputations. It looks at the forces and circumstances which shaped them, as well as the way in which each artist affected the other - artistically and personally.

Picasso has been seen as the foremost artist of the century, but Matisse's work is being reappraised. Picasso might have been the cannier self-publicist, the one with an eye for changing fashions, in painting and politics, but was Matisse simply a better painter?

Side by Side is a fascinating and accessible narrative about the period encompassing the birth of modern art, through the eyes of two of its most interesting participants.


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