A travelling collection of art books by the French artist Henri Matisse will be on show for the first time in Europe.

An exhibition entitled 'The Art Books Of Henri Matisse' takes place at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin from 25 May to 25 Sept 2011.

Four of Matisse's most significant art books are on loan from the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Collection and will be on display alongside other books by Matisse from the Chester Beatty's own collection including Poèmes de Charles d’Orléans (1950) and a copy of Matisse’s illustrated version of James Joyce’s Ulysses (1935). The exhibition marks the beginning of a series of European viewings for the Matisse Art Books.

The art books consist of boldly coloured paper cut outs and collages created with scissors and paper by Henri Matisse when he was in his late 60s. Matisse didn't start work with illustrated books until late in his career and was very proud of the prints he created from these books. The most recognisable works are 'Icarus' and his 1947 'Jazz' art book which is included in the show.

Curator of the exhibit Dr Jill Unkel explains Matisse's pioneering cutout technique to create mock ups to send to the printer. 

He would have his assistants paint paper, and then he would cut the shapes that he wanted from those papers, and then take all the different shapes and the different colours on the paper and tack up onto the wall...he would re-arrange them, maybe he'd move a star to one place and a star to another place until he got exactly what he wanted.

Fionnuala Croke, Director at the Chester Beatty Library explains why The Chester Beatty Library was chosen as the location for this exhibition. The library is named after the American collector and philanthropist Sir Alfred Chester Beatty - a friend of Matisse. 

The two men, the great collector and the great artist, Chester Beatty and Matisse were neighbours in Nice in the 1950s.

An RTÉ News report by Caitriona Perry broadcast on 25 May 2011.