Although Matisse drew in pen and black ink throughout his career, he executed very few broadly-rendered ink drawings after his Fauve period until the 1940s, when he turned to brush and black ink to create a series of drawings that equal the achievement of his richly-shaded charcoal drawings of the same period. Whereas the Fauve drawings are composed of a network of lines, spots and scribbles of ink that create the effect of abrupt contrasts of light and shade, the brush and ink drawings of the 1940s possess a classical discipline and a refined sense of all-over design. The artist fills the entire sheet in grand, gestural strokes of the brush; "figure and ground interact in a give-and-take of space that keeps them resolute in their in their flatness and luminous in their exhilarating openness. This is truly a kind of painting by reduced means." (J. Elderfield, The Drawings of Henri Matisse, London, 1984 [The Arts Council of Great Britain exhibition catalogue], p. 128)
Wanda de Guébriant has confirmed the authenticity of this drawing.