Category: Media & Culture / December 11, 2012 6:59 PM EST
An exhibition exploring the creative process of renowned French artist Henri Matisse is now being shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
The show is called 'Matisse: In Search of True Painting' and it features a display of multiple versions of the artist's handling of a single idea, side by side.
By comparing and contrasting works Matisse did in a series, the show attempts to explore the artist's working methods as he developed an idea over time.
"Unbeknownst to most people he was always pushing his art. Painting didn't come easily and so he used repeated images to push his painting in new directions - he would compare and contrast - and that is really what the focus of this exhibition is," said Rebecca Rabinow, the museum's curator of modern and contemporary art.
The differences between works can be quite subtle or very distinct.
"'In Search of True Painting' is taken from a letter that Matisse wrote to his wife in 1920 when he was describing his struggles. He was in the south of France and he was trying to, in this case, really paint light with color and when he struggled at that point in his career he would use black paint. And it was right around this time that he realized that by painting in black he could convey light. It was a very unusual discovery, but you find this throughout Matisse's pictures."
Although the show is relatively small, with just 49 paintings, there is plenty to take in.
Matisse died in 1954 in Nice on the French Riviera.
'Matisse: In Search of True Painting' will be on display until March 17, 2013.