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Henri Émile Benoît Matisse. 1869-1954.

La Capeline de Paille d'Italy (The Italian Straw Hat). 1923. Lithograph. Duthuit 430. 17 3/4 x 15 3/4 (sheet 23 1/8 x 17 7/8). Trial proof, apart from the published edition of 50. A tonal impression printed on chine volant paper with full margins. Signed and inscribed 'Essai' (trial proof) in pencil by the artist. Housed in an archival French mat and an exquisite 30 1/2 x 26 1/8 x 1 1/2-inch gold leaf frame. $35,000.

La Capeline de paille d'Italie is also the theme of two paintings, oil on canvas, painted in Nice in 1923.

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Matisse became an avid printmaker in 1906. He was especially involved in the process of lithography, a medium which led to black and white illustrations for books and over 100 original lithographs at the Mourlot studio. The lithographs were often in edition of 25 to 50 and included serial imagery such as reclining nudes, interiors and portraits. The lithographs were mostly in black and white, retaining the same sense of spontanaeity and intimacy as his pencil sketches. Matisse eventually installed a printing press in his own studio. Henri Matisse approached printmaking with a toolbox of techniques that allowed him to explore the medium to its fullest. Widely recognized as one of the greatest and most diverse printmakers of the 20th century, he worked with various printmaking methods throughout the course of his career.

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