Henri Matisse

Reclining Nude

Reclining Nude
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Henri Matisse
Drawings, Pen and Indian ink, 378x505 mm
Origin: France, 1935

Matisse built the drawing up of an expressive dialogue between the artist and the model, allowing him to take an inventive and lively approach to the organisation of the paper surface. The sitter is turned to face the viewer and the artist, whose presence is indicated by the fingers holding a pen, by the board and paper which cut sharply into the picture space from without. The angle of the board directs the viewer's eyes to the mirror in which we see a reflection of Matisse and of the model lying before him. The artist seems to be ever-present. His inquisitive gaze, the hand which seeks to capture his feelings and ideas, seem to surround the model and to reinforce the sense that she is being drawn from all round, from different points of view.

The lines are free and confident, bringing out the wavy contour of the female figure, relieving her of the solidity of flesh and blood, but without depriving her of the sense of plasticity. The figure dominates but at the same time is simply twisted into the patterned fabric of the whole drawing.

Source of entry: gift of Lydia Delectorskaya, 1968

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