Henri Matisse

Portrait of a Woman

Portrait of a Woman
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Henri Matisse
Portraiture, Drawings, Pen and Indian ink, 52.4x40.3 cm
Origin: France, 1944

This linear pen drawing, produced in 1944, is free and clear in its rhythmic organisation. Like many of Matisse's graphic sheets in the Hermitage, its has an inscription recording its presentation to Lydia Delectorskaya on 8 May 1945.

The energetic single line of black ink firmly fixes the contour of the model's face, bringing out the high cheekbones and the decisive small chin. The head is sharply turned to the left and Matisse captures the shoulders in counter-movement. This allowed him to emphasize the muscled tension of the slender neck, conveyed with a single laconic stroke of the pen, not only reinforcing the dynamism of the image, but also the ornamental nature of the drawing.

Source of entry: gift of Lydia Delectorskaya, 1968

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