Matisse by the Yard

#matisse #fabrics

The Matisse cut-outs exhibition is coming from The Tate in London to the Museum of Modern Art (Moma) this fall and textile designers are scrambling to release fabric designs inspired by the art. What is sure to be a blockbuster event (I am currently debating buying my tickets now, or even getting a Moma membership just for the member preview nights…) surface and textile designers know that the public will be primed to incorporate Matisse’s modern, colorful and graphic art into their home decor.




#matisse and textiles 

The Role of textiles in Matisse Art

Matisse came from a family with a tradition of textile designers, his grandfather was a weaver, and he collected fabrics his entire life which are incorporated into much of his art. Fabric played such a huge role in his art that the Metropolitan Museum of Art curated a show, Matisse: The Fabric of Dreams His Art and His Textiles in 2005.

In addition, some of his wealthiest collectors were Russian textile magnates which continued the synergy between art and fabric.

Matisse Cut-Outs

In the 1940’s, Matisse was bound to a chair and started using painted papers as a basis for designing his paintings. Initially, he planned on commissioning paintings from the designs but enjoyed the collage form so immensely that he used the scissors and paper exclusively in his art. {I too am addicted to collage art and use it in my art which you can find on etsy}

About the exhibition

I found this video from the Tate’s website which you can watch while you stir your coffee (it’s short)


Fabric designers using Matisse as inspiration

The Wall Street Journal published an article, “A Sofa By…Matisse” in its most recent weekend edition with the following fabrics. I’ve paired some of them with the paintings that may have inspired them.

#matisse cutouts art as seen on

Henri Matisse
The Sheaf 1953


Collection University of California, Los Angeles. Hammer Museum
© Succession Henri Matisse / DACS 2013
#matisse inspired fabric as seen on
Ode to Matisse Fabric in Leaf/Ocean, $100 per yard, F. Schumacher & Co
#matisse cutouts art as seen on

Henri Matisse
The Snail 1953


© Succession H. Matisse / DACS 2014
#matisse inspired fabric as seen on
Colors Fabric in Mint Julep, $120 per yard, Lulu DK
Billy Baldwin designed room as seen on WSJ, Matisse painting on the back wall
#matisse inspired fabric as seen on
China Seas Arbre de Matisse Fabric by Quadrille, $210 per yard, Design Professionals
#matisse inspired fabric as seen on
If you go to this designer’s website you will find a plethora of gorgeous wall papers and fabrics inspired by Matisse as well as those with the same design aesthetic. Shown here: Deliciosa Fabric in Peacock, $150 per yard,
#matisse inspired fabric as seen on
Breach Candy Fabric in Anjeer Lilac, $211 per yard, Seema Krish

other blog posts you might like 

mentioned in this article: @QuadrilleFabric @aimeewilder  @LULU_DK @MuseumModernArt
@seematextiles @tate @Schumacher1889 @WSJ #matisse #fabrics

2 thoughts on “Matisse by the Yard”

  1. Just wanted to let you know that I went to the exhibition at the Tate Modern today and it was totally amazing. It told the story of how Matisse's art developed from using cut outs to plan the layout of his paintings, through moving to cut-outs as the finished art and then how the pieces became more complex. It was wonderful. It gave me a new appreciation of the collage work that you do. You could see the depth in the work as the pieces of paper were laid over each other, which is lost in print (or digitally, as in your case). It was remarkable. I've come away totally inspired and amazed but it. (And my daughter felt very much the same about it – she chose a print of the Snail, that you have pictured above, for her bedroom.)

  2. I'm hoping to take my four year old to the Matisse exhibition at the Tate Modern in August. She loves cutting paper into shapes and creating things from the shapes. I hope that the exhibition inspires her. In the meantime, I'll pin this post to my Fabrics that Inspire board in Pinterest.


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I’m Miriam Schulman, your curator of inspiration.

I inspire art-lovers to reconnect with their creativity and profit from their art. Whether you paint simply for the joy of it or you’re serious about selling your work, and you’re ready to stop putting yourself on the back burner...You're in the right place. I've done it and I can inspire YOU how to do it too.

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