Wanda de Guébriant has confirmed the authenticity of this drawing.
Henri Matisse made two visits to Morocco in early 1912 and the winter of 1912-1913. During his trips he spent time in the exotic city of Tangiers where he made several sketches of seated men in traditional costume, a number of street scenes and several landscapes.
The present drawing features a minaret of the Casbah in the background: "Matisse's Moroccan sketchbook drawings are inherently authentic, both personally and historically. The artist maintained an objective truth, demonstrating a particular mental rapport with his subjects. He held these compositions together by quirkily selected details of native costume, cobblestones, door handles, ogival archways, and oddities of the antique geometry of the Casbhah, all very different from that of France" (J. Coward, "Matisse's Moroccan Sketchbooks and Drawings: Self-discovery through Various Motifs," Matisse in Morocco: The Paintings and Drawings, 1912-1913, exh. cat., op. cit., p. 136).