From Matisse's Mouth

“What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter, an art which could be for every mental worker, for the businessman as well as for the man of letters, for example, a soothing, calming influence on the mind, something like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.”

“Expression to my way of thinking does not consist of the passion mirrored upon a human face or betrayed by a violent gesture. The whole arrangement of my picture is expressive, the place occupied by figures or objects, the empty spaces around them, the proportions, everything plays a part. A work of art must be harmonious in its entirety.”

“The cut-out paper allows me to draw in colour. It is a simplification. Instead of drawing an outline and filling in the colour—in which case one modified the other—I am drawing directly in colour, which will be the more measured as it will not be transposed. The simplification ensures an accuracy in the union of two means…..It is not a starting point but a culmination.”

“It was always in view of a complete possession of my mind, a sort of hierarchy of all my sensations that I kept working in the hope of finding an ultimate method.”

“There is no break between my paintings and my cut-outs—only with something more of the abstract and the absolute…..the cut-out is what I have now found the simplest and most direct way to express myself… must study an object a long time to know what its sign is…..I now keep only the sign.”

“I believe my role is to provide calm…..I have looked for the same things which I have perhaps realized by different means.”