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Henri Matisse (1869-1954)
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Henri Matisse (1869-1954)

Paysage à Collioure

Details
Henri Matisse (1869-1954)
Paysage à Collioure
signed 'H.Matisse' (lower left)
oil on panel
16 x 12 1/2 in. (40.5 x 31.7 cm.)
Painted circa 1905-1906
Provenance
Etienne Terrus, Elne, by whom acquired from the artist circa 1905-1906.
Jean Planque, Paris, by whom acquired from the estate of the above in 1956.
Mr & Mrs Lazarus Phillips, Montreal, by whom acquired from the above in October 1956.
The Phillips Family Collection.
Wildenstein & Co., Inc., New York, by whom acquired from the above in 1977.
Wildenstein Ltd., Tokyo, by whom acquired from the above; sale, Christie's, New York, 19 May 1982, lot 27.
Edgar M. Bronfman, New York, by whom acquired at the above sale; estate sale, Christie's, New York, 6 May 2014, lot 24 ($1,085,000).
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
Exhibited
Tokyo, National Museum of Modern Art, Matisse, March - May 1981, no. 17, p. 169 (illustrated; illustrated again p. 41; dated 'circa 1905').
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Fauve Landscape, October - December 1990, p. 314 (illustrated pl. 333; dated '1905'; with incorrect medium); this exhibition later travelled to New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, February - May 1991; and London, Royal Academy of Arts, June - September 1991.
Céret, Musée départemental d'art moderne, Matisse-Derain: Collioure 1905, un été fauve, June - October 2005, no. 140, p. 296 (illustrated p. 201; dated '1906'; with incorrect medium); this exhibition later travelled to Cateau-Cambrésis, Musée départemental Matisse, October 2005 - January 2006.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

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Lot Essay

Wanda de Guébriant has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

Painted circa 1905-1906, Henri Matisse's Paysage à Collioure dates from the very pinnacle of the artist’s first experiments in Fauvism, inspired by his experiences in the small harbour town of Collioure in the South of France. Stimulated by the lush vegetation and intense light of the pure, untouched landscape that he found there, Matisse created a succession of pictures in which he honed the vivid, intensely colourful style that would make such an extraordinary splash at the Salon d'Automne in 1905. Abandoning the highly controlled pointillist style of Neo-Impressionism which had dominated his paintings in recent years, Matisse began to employ a more dynamic, expressive brushstroke and explosive colour palette in his paintings, combining yellows and purples with varying shades of green and blue, as he sought to capture the energy of the surrounding landscape on canvas. Speaking about his time in Collioure, Matisse exclaimed: ‘Working before a soul-stirring landscape, all I thought of was making my colours sing, without paying any heed to rules and regulations’ (quoted in P. Schneider, Matisse, London, 1984, p. 203).

Enchanted by the beauty of this location, Matisse called on his close friend and colleague, André Derain, to join him at Collioure. In a letter to Derain, Matisse wrote, ‘I cannot insist too strongly that a stay here is absolutely necessary for your work. I am certain that if you take my advice you will be glad of it. That is why I say to you again, come!’ (Matisse, quoted in H. Spurling, The Unknown Matisse: A Life of Henri Matisse, vol. I, 1869-1908, New York, 1998, p. 316). Derain arrived in July 1905, and the pair spent the remainder of the summer engaged in intense theoretical discussions regarding the nature of art, painting alongside one another and exploring the idyllic countryside that surrounded the town. As a result of this collaboration, Matisse’s style was emboldened, his palette pushed to new extremes, as he constantly probed the power and potential of pure colour, using the landscape as a vehicle for his explorations. Shortly after its creation Paysage à Collioure entered the collection of Etienne Terrus, a local artist whom Matisse had befriended at Collioure. Terrus, who had studied under Alexandre Cabanel at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris, was twelve years older than Matisse and offered the younger artist invaluable advice and support whenever he was struck by a crisis of confidence.

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