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    Sale 1901

    Impressionist And Modern Art Day Sale

    7 November 2007, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 330

    Henri Matisse (1869-1954)

    L'écorché, d'après Puget

    Price Realised  


    Henri Matisse (1869-1954)
    L'écorché, d'après Puget
    signed with initials, numbered and stamped with foundry mark 'HM 5/10 C.VALSUANI CIRE PERDUE' (on the back of the base)
    bronze with black patina
    Height: 9 in. (22.1 cm.)
    Conceived in Paris, 1903; this bronze version cast in June 1958

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    When Matisse executed this freely interpreted copy after an écorché in 1903, the original sculpture, representing a flayed man measuring ten inches in height, was believed to have been by Michelangelo. It has been subsequently attributed to the great French baroque sculptor Pierre Puget (1620-1694), who probably based his version on a Florentine Renaissance sculpture he saw during his travels in Italy. Matisse likewise included a plaster copy of the écorché in two paintings done in 1911, Interiéur avec aubergines (coll. Musée de Peinture et Sculpture, Grenoble), and Nature morte avec aubergines (Private collection). Both Cézanne and Matisse admired Michelangelo and Puget for their expressive shaping of sculptural form. Matisse wrote in his first published essay, Notes of a Painter, in 1908, "When we go into the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century sculpture rooms at the Louvre and look, for example, at a Puget, we can see that the expression is forced and exaggerated to the point of being disquieting" (quoted in J. Flam, ed., Matisse on Art, Berkeley, 1995, p. 39).

    Special Notice

    No sales tax is due on the purchase price of this lot if it is picked up or delivered in the State of New York.


    Estate of the artist.
    Heinz Berggruen, Paris.
    Acquired from the above by the late owner, circa 1960.

    Saleroom Notice

    Wanda de Guébriant has confirmed the authenticity of this sculpture.

    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from an Estate Sold to Benefit the Acquisitions Fund of the UCLA Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts at the Hammer Museum*


    A.E. Elsen, "The Sculpture of Henri Matisse," Artforum, September 1968, pp. 21-22 (another cast illustrated).
    W. Tucker, "Four Sculptors, Part 3: Matisse," International Studio, September 1970, p. 84 (another cast illustrated, fig. 2).
    A.E. Elsen, The Sculpture of Henri Matisse, New York, 1972, pp. 22-25 and 105 (another cast illustrated, p. 23).
    W. Tucker, The Language of Sculpture, London, 1974, pp. 88-91 (another cast illustrated, pl. 79).
    I. Monod-Fontaine, The Sculpture of Henri Matisse, London, 1984, p. 145 (another cast illustrated, pl. 8).
    C. Duthuit and W. de Guébriant, Henri Matisse, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre sculpté, Paris, 1997, p. 26, no. 12 (another cast illustrated, p. 27).

    Post Lot Text

    *This lot may be tax exempt from the sales tax as set forth in the Sales Tax Notice at the back of the catalogue.