Matisse’s art, with its spectacular immediacy and its mysterious depths, poses confounding problems for analysis. When Hilary Spurling writes of The Piano Lesson that “the picture cannot be confined to any single source or meaning,” she might be writing of any of Matisse’s works. Picasso’s themes, with their collage of traditional signs and symbols, are far moresusceptible to conventional iconographic analysis than anything in Matisse. Similarly, the cubism of Picasso and Braque, while rejecting traditional perspective, can nevertheless be studied as an inversion of traditional norms, using the same tools that one uses to study those norms. But the solutions that Matisse arrives at are always idiosyncratic and tend to be unrelated to any system of ideas. Intuition is his only system.

  1. The passage suggests which of the following about Braque’s cubism?

  A:It lends itself more readily to systematic analysis than does Matisse’s work.

  B:It is more radical in terms of form than most paintings by Matisse.

  C:It was influenced by Matisse’s idiosyncratic and intuitive approach.

  D:It cannot be confined to any single source or meaning.

  E:It is overly dependent on traditional signs and symbols.


  2. The passage identifies which of the following as a reason that Matisse’s art can confound analysis?

  A:Traditional analytical tools are not well suited to Matisse’s art.

  B:Matisse’s art is marked by a freedom from systematic influence.

  C:The norms that Picasso and Braque rejected were not ones that Matisse rejected.