"At the end of his career Henri Matisse embarked on a new style and a new medium, one that he had previously used only as an aid to planning his large decorative compositions.
The paper cutout - or gouache decoupee - is made by cutting shapes out of paper that has been previously colored with poster-color.
In Matisse's hands it grew into an autonomous medium, and the artist produced a series of extraordinary masterpieces.
Here are fifty of these splendid works, reproduced in full color, full-page or larger, with four of them occupying four-page foldouts.
They are accompanied by a critical text in which the author sensitively analyses Matisse's recapture of the simplicity of pure color - which he likens to the spontaneous vision of childhood - and reprints a number of this always intelligent artist's own statements about the new medium.
Matisse's paper cutouts, from the prewar Dancers to the Ivy and Flower and Blue Nudes of the 1950s, are among the most satisfying of his works - and among the most rewarding to reproduce.
They make this a book to treasure.
With 157 illustrations, including 51 large color plates and 54 color reproductions of works in public collections."