Henri Matisse

Lydia with her Hair in a Net

Lydia with her Hair in a Net
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Henri Matisse
Portraiture, Drawings, Lead pencil, 26x20.2 cm
Origin: France, Circa 1939

A light arabesque seems to twist around the dominant vertical in this drawing of Lydia Delectorskaya. The sitter's pose, the incline of the head and placing of the hands are all compactly organised around the invisible vertical axis, everything is subordinated to a single rhythm. Intertwined in a complex ornamental pattern, like the petals of an orchid, the drooping fingers seem to complete the spiralling movement. Matisse never sought to capture the individual nature of a particular sitter's hands, and in all his works the hands are a generalized symbol dictated by the composition.

Matisse himself described this approach in conversation with the writer Luis Aragon, in which they discussed Burmese statuary with their long, flexible arms, like those which he himself tended to depict - "and where the arm ends in a hand which seems like a flower on a stalk." Matisse described this as the Burmese symbol for a hand and added that the symbols could be composed freely and ornamentally.

Source of entry: gift of Lydia Delectorskaya, 1984

See also

Henri Matisse - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Henri Matisse (31 December 1869 – 3 November 1954) was a French artist, known for his use of colour and his fluid, brilliant and original draughtsmanship. ...
WebMuseum: Matisse, Henri (-Émile-Benoît)
Provides a detailed overview of Matisse's career and his impact on the world of art.
Henri Matisse
"Henri Matisse was born in 1869, the year the Cutty Sark was launched. The year he died, 1954, the first hydrogen bomb exploded at Bikini Atoll. ...
Henri Matisse - Olga's Gallery
Collection of works of the French artist with biography.

Site map

Albums Authors Countries Sources Epoches Exibitions Genres
Personages Schools Styles Techniques Themes Types Workshops

Image Use Policy

Unless otherwise noted, images this web site may be used for any purpose without prior permission.

Any material in the public domain found on this web site is not protected by copyright.

We make no representations or warranties with respect to ownership of copyrights in the images, and do not represent others who may claim to be authors or owners of copyright of any of the images, and make no warranties as to the quality of the images.

We shall not be responsible for any loss or expenses resulting from the use of the images, and you release and hold us harmless from all liability arising from such use.

We do not sell art prints, framed posters or reproductions. Ads are shown only to compensate the hosting expenses.