HENRI MATISSE (1869-1954)
HENRI MATISSE (1869-1954)
HENRI MATISSE (1869-1954)
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HENRI MATISSE (1869-1954)
6 More
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION
HENRI MATISSE (1869-1954)

Femme nue assise dans un fauteuil

HENRI MATISSE (1869-1954)
Femme nue assise dans un fauteuil
stamped with signature 'H. Matisse' (lower right)
pen and India ink on paper
8 3⁄4 x 12 1⁄2 in. (22.8 x 32.2 cm.)
Executed circa 1926
Private collection, New York, by whom acquired in the 1980s, and thence by descent to the present owner.
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. This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice. Christie’s has a direct financial interest in this lot. Christie’s has guaranteed to the seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee.
Further details
Georges Matisse has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

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Lot Essay

Celebrated for the unrivalled elegance and the quality of his pen and ink drawings, Henri Matisse understood, perhaps better than any other leading artist of the 20th Century, the arresting power of a single line.

Finding renewed inspiration in the sun-drenched climes of Nice in the 1920s, Matisse devoted himself to the study of beautiful, sensual nudes. Although his mastery as a draughtsman was the result of his singular gift, the artist gave much credit to his models, who became like “living sculpture” (H. Spurling, Matisse the Master: A Life of Henri Matisse, vol. II, New York, 2005, p. 270). Perhaps the best-known from this period is Henriette Darricarrère, who was an important source of inspiration for the artist from 1920 to 1927.

“During her seven years of modelling, Henriette excelled at role-playing and had a theatrical presence that fuelled the evolution of Matisse's art…” Jack Cowart has noted. “She adopted the subject roles easily and could express the moods and atmosphere of Matisse's settings without losing her own presence or her own strong appearance. Her distinctive physical features—a sculpturesque body and a finely detailed face with a beautiful profile— are evident in many of the artist's paintings, sculptures, and works on paper” (J. Cowart & D. Fourcade, Henri Matisse: The Early Years in Nice, 1916-1930, exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1986, p. 27).

Identified by her strong features and sumptuous figure, it is believed that the sitter here is indeed Darricarrère, the central subject of Odalisque couchée aux magnolias - the 1923 masterpiece formerly in the collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller - as well as Odalisque (genou levéou Femme nue aux voiles (National Gallery of Art, Washington).

In both examples, as in the present lot, the model rests languidly on a luxurious striped chair, the curves of her young body softly echoed by the elegant lines of the upholstery; her absolute ease in the artist’s presence is a confirmation of their familiarity. Carefully observed and delicately modelled, the artist’s sculptural approach to drawing is immediately evident, while the judicious absence of superfluity allows the viewer to relish in the delicacy of his details— the strong eyes, the soft lips, and the fashionably coiffed hair.

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