Henri Matisse, La Conversation (The Conversation), 1938. Oil on canvas. SFMOMA, Bequest of Mr. James D. Zellerbach. 93.149. © 2013 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Reproduction, including downloading of Henri Matisse works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Henri Matisse visited the Bay Area just once, in 1931, before setting sail for Tahiti. However, the French master's art and legend in this region stretch back to 1906, just after the great earthquake, when the American expatriates Sarah and Michael Stein returned home from Paris to check on their properties, bringing Matisse paintings along with them in their luggage. The Steins' local presentation of the artist’s brightly colored canvases—the first of the artist's works to be seen in the United States—launched the region's longstanding passion for the Matisse and his art.