HENRI MATISSE (1869-1954)
HENRI MATISSE (1869-1954)
HENRI MATISSE (1869-1954)
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HENRI MATISSE (1869-1954)
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On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… 显示更多 Depth of Field: The Alan and Dorothy Press Collection
HENRI MATISSE (1869-1954)

Jeune fille accoudée

HENRI MATISSE (1869-1954)
Jeune fille accoudée
signed and dated 'H Matisse Juill-47' (lower left)
brush and India ink on paper
20 3/4 x 15 7/8 in. (52.7 x 40.6 cm.)
Painted in Nice in July 1947
Galerie Berggruen et Cie., Paris.
Galerie Beyeler, Basel (acquired from the above, 24 May 1983).
Acquavella Galleries, Inc., New York (acquired from the above, 21 June 1983).
Private collection, United States (acquired from the above, February 1984).
C&M Arts, New York.
Acquired from the above by the late owner, 10 June 2005.
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in the outcome of the sale of certain lots consigned for sale. This will usually be where it 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. This is such a lot.
The late Marguerite Duthuit confirmed the authenticity of this work.


Vanessa Fusco
Vanessa Fusco Head of Department, Impressionist & Modern Art, New York


Beginning in the late-1940s, Henri Matisse divided his days between crafting his brightly colored cut-outs and drawing in charcoal and black ink. This was an immensely creative time for the artist, a triumphal period for a man facing down his last decade. Returning to the brush and ink pot, a medium he had first explored early in his career, Matisse confidently composed his images, allowing the black ink to sculpt the white expanse. “Once my emotive line has modelled the light of my white paper, without destroying its precious whiteness,” he wrote, “I can neither add nor take anything away. If it is not adequate, there is no alternative than to begin again, as if it were an acrobatic feat” (“Notes of a Painter on his Drawing,” J. Flam, ed., Matisse on Art, Berkeley, 1995, p. 131).
Jeune fille accoudée was executed in July 1947, a significant year for Matisse during which he published Jazz, his book of printed cut-outs, and was asked to develop the decorative program for the Chapelle du Rosaire in Vence, near to where he was living. He was, during this period, beginning to turn away from easel painting, and these late drawings, as such, represent a synthesis between his graphic and painterly practices. Indeed, with its elegant, calligraphic approach to line, Jeune fille accoudée suggests a painterly approach to drawing. Using a thick brush and flowing ink, Matisse depicted a young woman resting her cheek on her hand. He deftly outlined the contours of her face and dress, the rhythmic shape of the collar echoed by the woman’s curly hair.
The work forms part of Matisse’s ongoing graphic practice, and as with his other drawings, it explores the tension between black and white, and the ways the two can still suggest color. In the catalogue to his 1949 exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris, Matisse wrote of the “special quality of brush drawing,” which he noted, “has all the qualities of a painting or a painted mural” (quoted in Matisse: Oeuvres récents, 1947-1948, exh. cat., Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, 1949, p. 21). He went on to say that “it is always color that is put into play even when the drawing consists of merely one continuous stroke. Black brush drawings contain, in small, the same elements of colored paintings that is to say, differentiations in the quality of the surfaces unified by light” (quoted in ibid.). Contemporaneous to Jeune fille accoudée, Matisse was exploring the chromatic possibilities of black in both his theoretical writings and his paintings, including Intérieur au rideau égyptien, 1948, held in the The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. In conjunction with his 1946 exhibition Le noir est une couleur at the Galerie Maeght in Paris, he offered his thoughts on this theme, explaining that black was key to how he arranged color. It was the force which held everything together.
If Matisse’s paintings of this period suggest an artist at ease with his tools, the works on paper project a youthful vitality and daring. Curator Victor Carlson wrote that the drawings of 1947, in particular, “sound a bolder note” (“Introduction,” Matisse as Draughtsman, exh. cat., Baltimore Museum of Art, 1971, p. 19). Long a devotee to the graphic arts, which he had studied as a young artist, for Matisse drawing was never subsidiary to painting but rather its own autonomous exploration. It was the means to trace “unconscious sensations which sprang from the model” and arrest them in two dimensions (H. Matisse quoted in J. Elderfield, The Drawings of Henri Matisse, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1984, p. 27). “Drawing,” he would tell his students, “is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence” (quoted in ibid., p. 10).

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