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

Femme assise, bras croisés

HENRI MATISSE (1869-1954)
Femme assise, bras croisés
signed and dated 'H. Matisse 44' (lower right)
pen and India ink on paper
20 1/2 x 15 3/4 in. (52 x 39.8 cm.)
Executed in 1944
Private collection, Caracas, by 1954.
CDS Gallery, New York, by 1981.
Waddington Galleries, London, by 1982.
Acquired from the above by the present owner on 17 October 1985.
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.
Further details
Georges Matisse has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

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Lot Essay

A master of line and form, Femme assise, bras croisés, exudes Henri Matisse’s unrivalled ability as a draughtsman. Reducing his palette to just two materials, pen and India ink, the artist was able to mine the full potential of each medium; thus, in the present lot, every subtle variation – from the gentle increase in pressure which produced the sculptural contour of the shoulder, to the quick, gestural strokes used to suggest the soft draping of fabric – combine to create a work that is arresting in its simplicity.

Exuding the easy, sensual glamour for which he was so universally celebrated, in the present lot Matisse captures his model, identified as Nenette, in three-quarter length, her face turned sideways in a wistful, dream-like gaze. Softened by gentle contrapposto, her frontal pose showcases her glamorous, jewel-accented gown, while her sensuously crossed arms emphasise the sumptuousness of her curves.

As the artist explained to Pierre Courthion, ‘When I have a model, I first make a literal, almost photographic portrait; I soak in the character of the model... Then, when I feel the contact is made, I let my hand go to work’ (H. Matisse quoted in H. Matisse & P. Courthion, Chatting with Henri Matisse: The Lost 1941 Interview, Los Angeles, 2013, p. 146). Parading his skill in creating a portrait that not only captures the likeness of his sitter, but her alluring personality as well, Femme assise, bras croisés is a testament to the artist’s prowess, and relentless pursuit of the expressive power of the line.

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