Room 14: Christmas Eve

Matisse had long been interested in the connection between his cut-outs and stained glass. He said of his designs for Jazz, ‘I cut out these gouache sheets the way you cut glass: only here they’re organised to reflect light, whereas in a stained-glass window they have to be arranged differently because light shines through them.’

Here you can see his cut-out model on a Christmas theme and the resulting stained glass, commissioned for the Time-Life Building in New York. Like his windows for the Vence Chapel, Christmas Eve conveys the spirit of religious expression without explicitly addressing religious subject matter.