Henri Matisse’s ancestors had been weavers for generations: textiles, a key to his visual imagination, were in his blood. Although he was to outgrow every other influence, textiles retained their power for him throughout his life. His studio in Nice was a treasure house of exotic Persian carpets, delicate Arab embroideries, richly hued African wall hangings, and any number of colorful cushions, curtains, costumes, patterned screens, and backcloths. This sumptuously illustrated book, which accompanies a groundbreaking exhibition at the Musée Matisse, Le Cateau-Cambrésis; the Royal Academy of Arts, London; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, explores for the first time Matisse’s relationship with the textiles that surrounded him from his earliest days. Charting how the fabrics he painted became the very fabric of his painting, the authors examine the ways in which one of the greatest pioneers in modern art history used what he called his “working library” of textiles to furnish, order, and compose his extraordinary works of art.