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

La tour de Chenonceaux

Henri Matisse (1869-1954)
La tour de Chenonceaux
signed 'Henri-Matisse' (lower left)
oil on canvas
18 ¼ x 15 1/8 in. (46.5 x 38.2 cm.)
Painted in 1917
Galerie Bernheim-Jeune et Cie., Paris (acquired from the artist, August 1917).
Art Moderne, Paris (1927).
Bignou Gallery (Georges Keller), New York (after 1935).
Cecil "Titi" Blaffer von Fürstenberg, Houston (acquired from the above, by 1953).
By descent from the above to the present owners.
J. Flam, Matisse: The Man and His Art, 1869-1918, London, 1986, p. 456 (illustrated, p. 461, fig. 471).
G.-P. and M. Dauberville, Matisse, Paris, 1995, vol. I, p. 612, no. 201 (illustrated, p. 613).
Paris, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune et Cie., Oeuvres récentes de Henri Matisse, May 1919, no. 5 (illustrated).
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Lot Essay

Georges Matisse has confirmed the authenticity of this work.
In July 1917, Matisse travelled to the Château de Chenonceau with his close friend, the painter Albert Marquet. Recently acquired by the chocolate manufacturer Georges Menier—who avidly welcomed visiting artists—the château provided inspiration to both artists during their short visit. Matisse completed two small-scale landscapes, both inspired by his surroundings and the work of his nineteenth-century predecessors over the course of his stay. Jack Flam has written of the present work “the topicality…, the broken brushstroke used to render the fruit trees, the repoussoir effect of the trees, and the dominant silvery greens call to mind the landscapes of Corot” (op. cit.).
The edifice at the center of the composition is a 15th century medieval keep built for Jean Marques in Chenonceaux on the River Cher. The tower remains the only medieval remnant of the complex; the rest of the château was demolished and rebuilt in a transitional Gothic-Italian Renaissance style during the early 16th century by Thomas Bohier, Chamberlain to King Charles VII of France. Today, the château is a major tourist attraction, and the second most visited château in France after the Palace of Versailles.

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