Wanda de Guébriant has confirmed the authenticity of this work.
Matisse considered his drawing to be a very intimate means of expression. The method of artistic execution, whether it was charcoal, pencil, ink or crayon, varied according to the subject and personal circumstance. His favourite subjects were evocative or erotic — the female form, the nude figure or a beautiful head of a favourite model, just as Jeune anglaise, drawn in Nice in 1952. Independent drawings from the 1950s are rare. This is due largely to the fact that, during the early 1950s, Matisse was forced to spend most of his time in bed as a result of chronic illness. He often drew on paper attached to the walls and ceiling of his apartment with a charcoal or brush attached to the end of a long stick. These drawings present an even more simplified, colourless counterpart to the paper cut-outs, in which form and line are stripped to their barest essentials. There is no modelling, and detail is kept to a minimum. The naturalistic proportions of the visage are sacrificed in favour of an energetic and rhythmic sense of line.
Essential to the masterful expression of Jeune Anglaise is Matisse's bold and active use of the full breadth of the paper ground; the bold lines are pushed to the very limits of the sheet, yet feel in no way forced; they activate its brilliant white ground. According to Elderfield, these last drawings ‘render pictorial the whiteness that surrounds them, giving to what Matisse called this 'white atmosphere,' a sense of dazzling light from the reflected radiance of their colour. This is neither drawing nor painting, though it partakes of both. And while, at times, we miss drawing as we miss painting, we can hardly argue with the magnificence of the synthesis Matisse is able to create in the grandest of these last works’ (J. Elderfield, Matisse in the Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, exh. cat., New York, 1978, p. 132).