Henri Matisse

Woman with Bared Breasts

Woman with Bared Breasts
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Henri Matisse
Drawings, Charcoal, 60.4x40.5 cm
Origin: France, 1948

Working in charcoal, Matisse produced this sketch no later than April 1948. Of the importance the artist attached it, his secretary and regular model Lydia Delectorskaya wrote: "This work was to serve as a springboard which, thanks to excitement and to observations of the model over several sittings, allowed him .... to express himself fully and with inspiration in the quick outline of a drawing."

Working on this piece, Matisse sought that linear, rhythmic construction which would be capable of expressing the emotional resonance of the image of the woman. The elongated vertical format of the sheet gives the naked figure a certain lightness. Twisted round frontally, in the centre of the sheet, she rest firmly in the white space. The drawing was later to serve as the basis of a print executed a few years later, around 1950-1951.

Source of entry: gift of Lydia Delectorskaya, 1968

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