In the fall of 1914, as Parisians scrambled to flee the approaching German army, Henri Matisse fled to Collioure, the fishing village in southwestern France where he had developed Fauvism, modern art’s first movement. When the Matisses arrived in the south, their first order of business was to find a tutor for their children, whose school-town of Noyon was swiftly taken by the Germans at the outset of the war. Not only did the Matisses quickly find a tutor, they found fellow Parisian exiles Juan and Josette Gris, who, as it turned out, were lodging with the tutor. The Grises were broke and desperate for both cash and companionship. Matisse quickly set about finding them both income: He arranged a system by which Gertrude Stein would help out the Grises in exchange for paintings (Stein eventually reneged on the deal), and he insisted that Josette accept a model’s fees when she sat for a series of etchings. The two families became fast friends.


Tyler Green
Modern Art Notes