Henri Matisse

Girl with Tulips

Girl with Tulips
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Henri Matisse
Painting, Oil on canvas, 92x73.5 cm
Origin: France, 1910

Jeanne Vaderin, the model for this painting, was in convalescence at Issey-les-Moulineaux, where the artist rented a house in 1910. "My models, the figures of people, are never static elements in an interior. They are the main theme of my work," wrote Matisse in 1908. There is something gentle and melancholy, something fragile and refined in the face and slightly asymmetrical figure of the girl whom Matisse and his wife affectionately called Jeannette. The girl was also the model for a number of other works, including a series of bronze heads.

The interaction between the flowers and the human figure forms the central theme of the work. The strong stems of the tulips forcing themselves upwards in an expression of rebirth and the coming spring, the thick green colour of the sharp leaves, everything carries within it the energy of growth. Nature and man seem to cancel each other's specific characteristics in order to form a harmonious whole.

Source of entry: State Museum of New Western Art, Moscow, 1948
Exibition: French Art: 19th - 20th centuries

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