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Manuscript of a text by André Breton devoted to Matta, undated, written during the summer of 1944 and published in Le Surréalisme et la peinture in 1965.

Breton wrote this text devoted to Matta during the summer of 1944, while he had also begun the writing that would become Arcane 17, whose first edition Matta himself would illustrate. The creator and explorer of a ‘new space’, the Chilian painter sought to ‘extend the field of vision’. We know that he was very close to Breton during the years of exile, a proximity that would only be enhanced when the poet met his compatriot Elisa. The text would be republished in 1965 in Le Surréalisme et la peinture. [Atelier André Breton website, 2005]

Handwritten manuscript, undated [summer 1944].
- 5 in-8° pages on the sheets of a school notebook, a manuscript in ink by André Breton, with deletions and corrections, of this text relating to Roberto Matta:
‘Matta is he who has plunged into the agate – and here I am no longer designating by this term a particular variety of mineral but including all stones that secrete this ‘exalted water’, this ‘soul of the water’ which, according to the occultists, dissolves the elements and ‘gives the true sulphur or the true fire’. [...]
Even at the present stage of his evolution, Matta still remains extremely exacting towards himself, never remaining contented with the extraordinary gifts with which nature has endowed him. No one has remained more questioning, no one has shown himself more assiduous in garnering the living substance of works, such as those of Alfred Jarry and Marcel Duchamp […]; no one’s eye has been more piercing than his in discovering around him the living seed of beauty, a truth or a new freedom.’ [Auction catalogue, 2003]
New edition of Le Surréalisme et la peinture, Gallimard, 1965.


Translated by Krzysztof Fijalkowski


- André Breton (Édition publiée sous la direction d'Étienne-Alain Hubert avec la collaboration de Philippe Bernier et Marie-Claire Dumas), « Matta, La perles est gâtée à mes yeux... », Le Surréalisme et la Peinture, Œuvres complètes, tome IV, Écrits sur l'art et autres textes, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, Paris, Gallimard, 2008, pages 571 à 577.


Creation date1944
Physical descriptionMs - encre bleue sur papier réglé

Bibliothèque littéraire Jacques Doucet, Paris : BRT 97

Breton Auction, 2003Lot 2255
Keywords, , ,
CategoriesAndre Breton's Manuscripts
Set[Breton's Manuscripts and Drawings] dossier Le Surréalisme et la peinture
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