Matisse explained his attitude to his model in an article on drawing:
'They are the principal theme in my work. I depend entirely on my model whom I observe at liberty, and then I decide on the pose which best suits her nature. When I take a new model, it is in complete relaxation that I can see the pose that will best suit her, and to which I am then completely committed...Their forms are not always perfect, but they are always expressive. The emotional interest they inspire in me is not especially apparent in the representation of their bodies, but rather in the lines or particular values distributed over the whole canvas or paper, thus forming their orchestration, their architecture.'
(H. Matisse, Notes d'un peintre sur son dessin, quoted in: Susan Lambert, Matisse Lithographs, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 1972)