Simple line drawings aren't what most art lovers think of when people mention Henri Matisse, who's better known for his vivid, colorful paintings.
The artist produced dozens of drawings and etchings as illutrations for the work of French poets Stephane Mallarme and Pierre Ronsard. Matisse's drawings appeared alongside the poems in his "Florilege des Amours de Ronsard" and "Poesies" collections, published in the 1930s and '40s.
Sixty-three of the illustrations will be on display at the Museum of Art at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta from Jan. 17 until May 9.
"There is a sensual, lyrical line he creates," said museum director Lloyd Nick. "I wouldn't be surprised if after seeing the exhibit, people feel like dancing."
The pieces include couples wrapped in each other's arms, women lounging on beds and lush flowers. They also include familiar images, such as a sketch of the frolicking figures from his vibrant painting, "The Dance."
Other pieces are more complex: a woman clothed in a patterned dress standing in a forest or a nude woman bathing in a stream flanked by vines.
The works in the exhibit are part of the estate of French publisher Albert Skira, who worked closely with Matisse on both works. It will appear again in 2011 when it goes to Los Angeles, said curator Reilly Rhodes.
Matisse, who died in 1954 at the age of 84, created art in various media throughout his career — from collages of thick pieces of painted paper to bronze sculpture. He is best known for his vivid paintings of rounded blue nudes, a slain Icarus falling through a starry blue sky and cloud-like flowers and plants.
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Oglethorpe University: http://museum.oglethorpe.edu/
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