10/30/2014 01:19 pm ET Updated Oct 30, 2014

Françoise Gilot Reminisces About Henri Matisse

MATISSE WAS THE KING of color. I first met him in February 1946 with Picasso, when he was living at his house, Villa le Rêve, in Vence [France]. I expected his house to be bright, but the shutters were pulled shut so as to let in just the smallest amount of light. It was a complete surprise, this darkness. In the first room, when we entered, there was a big cage of birds. I thought, “Poor little birds that are not allowed to see the sun.”

The opposite of what you expect is always interesting.

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