"You see as I am obliged to remain often in bed because of the state of my health, I have made a little garden all around me where I can walk... There are leaves, fruits, a bird." -- Henry Matisse, writing about his paper cutouts
In 1941, Henri Matisse was diagnosed with cancer and underwent a risky surgery. He wrote letters to his family that were meant to be opened in the event of his death. Matisse was preparing to "shuffle off this mortal coil."