Pierre Courthion

Pierre Courthion (1902-1988) was a Swiss art critic and historian.

Courthion was educated at the University of Geneva and was awarded a scholarship to study painting at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.[1] At the Louvre, he did his doctorate on the painter, Jean-Étienne Liotard.[1]

In 1941, Courthion interviewed Henri Matisse, but after months of difficult negotiations, Matisse refused to have the resulting book published, just a few weeks before it was due to come out.[2][3] The "lost" interview was not published until 2013.[2]

His papers are held at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, California.[1]


  • Panorama de la peinture française contemporaine
  • D'une palette à l'autre : Mémoires d'un critique d'art
  • La Peinture flamande : de Van Eyck à Bruegel
  • Bonnard : peintre du merveilleux
  • Soutine : peintre du déchirant
  • Les Impressionnistes
  • Le Visage de Matisse
  • La Vie de Delacroix
  • Delacroix : journal et correspondance
  • Paris : de sa naissance à nos jours
  • D'une palette à l'autre: mémoires d'un critique d'art, autobiography, 2004


  1. "INVENTORY OF THE PIERRE COURTHION PAPERS, 1901-1987, UNDATED". oac.cdlib.org. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  2. "Chatting With Henri Matisse (HB)". National Gallery Shop. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  3. Cone, Michele (14 June 2013). "Killed by Matisse in 1941, Courthion's Interviews Are Resurrected". artinamericamagazine.com. Retrieved 2 May 2019.

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