Learning Resilience From a Master

December 24, 2014 1:15 AM

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The last 10 years of Henri Matisse's life were far from what most of us would think of as joyful. His marriage was over, he was diagnosed with cancer and underwent a number of painful surgeries, and his beloved daughter was imprisoned and tortured by the Gestapo for aiding the French Resistance. Who could have blamed him for calling it quits and sinking into deep despair? And yet, during this dark time he created the most electrifyingly joyful work of his career.

Confined to a wheelchair and crippled by pain, Matisse never stopped working. In fact, rather than a period of decline, it became what Matisse described as a "seconde vie." He transformed the darkness into an intensely vibrant and productive period, creating "cut-outs" -the cut paper collages he des...

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