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Henri Matisse, 'Decorative Figure on an Ornamental Ground', 1926, Oil on Canvas

Matisse and Islamic Art with Prof Michael Barry

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End Date.



19:00- 20:30


Prof. Michael Barry

Matisse, with Picasso, transformed the vision of 20th-century world art. But while West African sculpture’s transformative impact upon Picasso is so well known, less recognised has been the equally powerful metamorphosis of traditional Islamic arts – from Persian miniatures to Andalusian and Moroccan tiles – into the magic paintings of Matisse. The French master was overwhelmed by first discovering these masterpieces in the Paris and Munich exhibitions of 1903, 1910 and 1912, then in southern Spain and Morocco during his three journeys there between 1911 and 1913.

This illustrated talk, by Prof. Michael Barry, explores these connections in depth, in precise context of an amazing aesthetic revolution in early 20th-century painting.

This lecture is part of the Bagri Foundation Open Programme at The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts which aims to expand Asian arts courses at the School.

Prof. Michael Barry

Dr Michael Barry was born in New York in 1948 but educated in France with higher degrees from Princeton, Cambridge, McGill (Montreal) and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. Prof. Barry was a humanitarian worker in Afghanistan for the International Federation for Human Rights, Médecins du Monde and the United Nations until resuming teaching medieval Islamic subjects at Princeton University and advising reorganization of the current galleries of Islamic art at New York's Metropolitan Museum, while also consulting for the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. He is currently University Professor at American University of Afghanistan in Kabul. He has won numerous literary and teaching awards from France, Iran and United States.

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