At seventy, Henri Matisse is a trim, clean old gentleman with a passion for naked women. He is UN MONSTRE SACRE who depicts with passion and conviction only what he takes pleasure in, only what he chooses to see. He is art personified. If there were no Matisse there would be no art as such. . . . He has purged everything from his painting except anxieties concerning structure and colour; his struggle is with these alone! MATISSE'S WAR is a minutely researched yet fictional account of Matisse's life during the years 1939-1945. It is also a superb portrait of the lives of the major French artists and writers under the German occupation. Louis Aragon, Malraux, Picasso and Bonnard all appear prominently in the narrative.