Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs (Kids)

*The Parakeet and the Mermaid*

Henri Matisse. The Parakeet and the Mermaid. 1952 94

Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). The Parakeet and the Mermaid. 1952. Gouache on paper, cut and pasted, and charcoal on white paper. 11′ 11/16″ × 25′ 2 9/16″ (337 × 768.5 cm). Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Acquired with the assistance of the Vereeniging Rembrandt and the Prince Bernhard Cultuurfonds © 2014 Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Fairy tale-ish music, tweeting birds, sounds to place us in a magical garden.

NARRATOR: Matisse loved spending time in his garden. In fact, he loved it so much, he brought the garden inside. He created this garden on his bedroom walls. He even added a mermaid and a parakeet. Can you find them hiding among the colorful leaves and fruits?

Parakeet: SQWAAAAWK.

NARRATOR: Matisse had assistants help him make this garden. Look up high, above the parakeet. He would cut a dark pink shape like the one in the corner. Then he’d give it to his assistant, who would climb up on a ladder and pin it on the wall. Then Matisse ask her to move it a little bit left or right, until it was just right. Sometimes his assistants would have to move a piece so many times, their fingers got sore!

Gust of wind, leaves rustling.

NARRATOR: Matisse’s garden grew and grew all over the wall, even around a corner. The shapes weren’t glued down back then, so they could even flutter in the breeze like real leaves.

Harp strum as a button to close.

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