The American actor Edward G. Robinson, who was an avid art collector, tells a story about visiting Matisse. Matisse, age 85, was living in an expensive old hotel in the South of France. He was dying of stomach cancer and confined to a wheelchair but still working, making his paper cutouts and small drawings. The hotel had carved wooden doors from the 17th or 18th century, and thumb-tacked to the doors were little drawings of hands. Robinson says to Matisse, "Are these early drawings?" Matisse replies, "No, no, I'm doing them now. I'll do a good one yet. Those damn things give me a lot of trouble, you know. I'll do it, I'll get it."
Hokusai on his deathbed, age 89, is reported to have said, "If only Heaven will give me just another ten years...Just another five more years, then I could become a real painter."