Henri Matisse
French, 1869–1954




The complex burn pattern playing out across the margins of Martiniquaise indicates the etching was rematted on several occasions; unfortunately, in each instance with acidic materials. The paper itself is of fairly high quality, so normally we might anticipate that a good deal of the staining could be mitigated through conservation. The etching, though, was printed using chine collé, a process in which a fine, translucent sheet of paper, originally from Japan or China, is placed between the inked plate and a heavier support paper during the pressing of the print. The result can be aesthetically superior to straight-forward etching; however, the delicate bond between the collé sheet and its support renders conservation problematic. Bubbles invariably occur beneath the collé whenever water is introduced to the environment, so the washing and bleaching that is employed to treat light and acid burns is impossible in this instance.

The museum accepts that the current condition of Martiniquaise is about the best we can expect. After this exhibition, it will be remounted, in acid-free materials, of course, with a window large enough to show the full inscription, but small enough to hide the darker mat burn.


Palmer Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania State University, Gift of Frank T. Benson Jr., in memory of Gustave Wescott




This image is posted publicly for non-profit educational uses, excluding printed publication. Other uses are not permitted.


Etching with chine collé; plate: 5-7/8 x 4-5/16 in. (15 x 11 cm)