'Inspired, innovative, remarkable' Independent
'Spurling has done better than anyone else at uncovering intimate information about Matisse' Guardian
The abridged, one-volume edition of Hilary Spurling's critically acclaimed biography of Henri Matisse, one of the greatest artistic geniuses of the twentieth century
Henri Matisse was one of the most important and beloved artists of the twentieth century, rivalled only by his friend and competitor Pablo Picasso. Hilary Spurling's The Unknown Matisse and Matisse the Master were together heralded as the definitive biography of the artist, and Matisse the Master went on to win the Whitbread Book of the Year award in 2005.
This essential abridged edition of the Life reveals the origins of Matisse's astonishing talent, provides a unique insight into his life and work, and, by documenting the difficult path he took alone, clearly places him at the front rank of those who made art modern.
Hilary Spurling is the author of numerous biographies, including Ivy When Young: The Early Life of Ivy Compton-Burnett 1884-1919; Paul Scott: A Life; a two-volume biography of Matisse, The Unknown Matisse and Matisse the Master (also published in the abridged single-volume Matisse: The Life); and Burying the Bones. She won the Rose Mary Crawshay Prize and the Duff Cooper Prize for Ivy When Young, the Whitbread Book of the Year Award for Matisse the Master, and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Burying the Bones. She grew up in Bristol and studied at the University of Oxford. From 1964 to 1970 she was Theatre Critic and Literary Editor of the Spectator, and since then she has been a regular book reviewer for the Observer and the Daily Telegraph. In 2016 she won the Biographers' Club Lifetime Achievement Award.