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The latter years of Matisse’s career made up what he described as his 'second life'. This catalogue is dedicated to Matisse’s late work and provides a greater understanding of the artist through his correspondence with the writer André Rouveyre. It begins with a serious operation Matisse underwent in 1941 and ends with his death in 1954, a period of 13 years during which there was an extraordinary blossoming of his art. Rouveyre was a novelist and artist dreaded for his cruel portraits, and an old friend from Matisse’s student days. These letters (almost 1200 of them) provide unprecedented insight into Matisse’s creative process and artistic aspirations, at a time when he was redefining his modes of expression. Many are adorned with drawings and decorations and for the first time this catalogue relates these letters to works produced, or in production, at the time they were written - oils on canvas, drawings, illustrated books, tapestries, stained-glass window maquettes, and large and small gouache cut-outs.