Hilary Spurling second volume of her two-volume life of Matisse will be published in the US in September. She is also the author of Ivy: The Life of I. Compton-Burnett and The Girl from the Fiction Department: A Portrait of Sonia Orwell. The article in this issue is based on a lecture at the National Gallery, London. (August 2005)


Matisse’s Pajamas

Ever since I finished writing a life of Henri Matisse, I have been haunted by an image from H.G. Wells’s novel The Invisible Man. The hero of that book invents a scientific process to make himself invisible with no means of reversing the effect so that he finds himself trapped, …