The friendship between artist Henri Marisse and author André Rouveyre is evident from their regular correspondence on personal matters and art. Their strong bond allowed for critical views of each other's work. Rouveyre for instance was not convinced of the quality of the images in Matisse's book Jazz, and Matisse never managed to finish reading Rouveyre's autobiographical novels. He did however illustrate one of them: Repli, and instead of the requested (often perfunctory) portrait of the author, he produced six.
Matisse also made two linocuts for large initials that are printed in colour, four decorative linocuts in black-and-white, and six further portraits in lithographs depictingwomen. Matisse used a yellow-green gouache for the jacket on which he organized white clippings that together formed the title of the book: Repli. This jacket was put together in Nervet's Paris studio in gouache. In this way, the three techniques used by Matisse for book illustrations were brought together in a single book. Matisse worked on it during 1944-1945.