Henri Matisse

Portrait of the Artist's Wife

Portrait of the Artist's Wife
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Henri Matisse
Portraiture, Painting, Oil on canvas, 146x97.7 cm
Origin: France, 1913

Matisse painted this portrait of his wife in the summer of 1913, in the garden of his house at Issy-les-Moulineaux near Paris. Amelie posed for her husband in a green garden chair, looking elegant, relaxed and firmly in control. Her pose is precisely but simply conveyed, her erect back and her perfect dress-sense making her the very epitome of the Parisian "dame". The artist made use of the traditional scheme of an official, society portrait, but gave it a totally untraditional resonance. Amelie's face lies in greenish shade. The simple outline and severely schematic features recall a mask, something which not only hides the inner essence of the sitter but embodies some mysterious content which cannot be explained by logic or clarity.

In 1914 this painting, which enjoyed phenomenal success with contemporary critics, was acquired by the collector Sergey Shchukin.

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

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