Today all it takes to buy a Matisse is a lot of money. Sixty-odd years ago it was not wealth that was needed so much as courage, faith in the new, and a bit of artistic clairvoyance. In the early 1900s, such qualities were almost nonexistent among French collectors and gallery owners, who considered Matisse a misguided radical, hardly a good investment. At his few exhibitions his paintings were jeered at for their implausible colors, two-dimensional quality and primitive design: practically none were bought.
-The World of Matisse 1869-1954, published by Time-Life Books in 1969