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  • Literature

    Claude Duthuit 800

  • Catalogue Essay

    Nadia was introduced to Matisse in 1948 by his son-in-law, Georges Duthuit,
    who met her at an embassy reception in Paris and on seeing Nadia thought
    that she would be an interesting model for Matisse. She did not want to pose
    for Matisse initially, but he convinced her. Matisse generated several works
    of Nadia, some in ink, some in charcoal, some etchings and other media, all
    were monochromatic. In most of the works, she could not see herself in them
    and that pleased Matisse. He was drawing something else. Nadia said she
    and Matisse had two important aspects to their friendship—great quality in
    conversations as well as in their silences. She was happy to have met him
    toward the end of his life “when he was making honey.”
    His printmaking culminates with a series of brush aquatints that begin in 1947
    and continue to 1950-51, a few years before his death in 1954. In this series,
    facial features are conveyed with just a few strokes of a broad brush against
    the ever-present white of the paper. Each face is carefully composed within
    a space determined by the sheet of paper. A model, Nadia—sometimes
    with a frown or a smile, serious or distant—can be viewed in profile or head
    on. Such images, joined by cut-paper works, covered the walls of Matisse’s
    apartment in Nice, populating his living space with a flowering of art— the
    culmination of a lifetime of observation and realization.
    (Jay Fisher, Senior Curator of Print, Drawings, and Photographs,
    The Baltimore Museum of Art)

  • Artist Biography

    Henri Matisse

    French • 1869 - 1954

    The leading figure of the Fauvist movement at the turn of the 20th century, Henri Matisse is widely regarded as the giant of modern art alongside friend and rival Pablo Picasso. Working as a painter, draughtsman, printmaker and sculptor for over five decades, he radically challenged traditional conventions in art by experimenting with vivid colors, flat shapes and distilled line. Rather than modeling or shading to lend volume to his pictures, the French artist employed contrasting areas of unmodulated color. Heavily influenced by the art and visual culture of non-Western cultures, his subjects ranged from nudes, dancers, odalisques, still lifes and interior scenes and later evolved into the graphic semi-abstractions of his cut-outs of his late career. 

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Grand masque

Aquatint, on Marais paper, with full margins (deckle on all sides),
I. 17 1/8 x 13 3/4 in. (43.5 x 34.9 cm);
S. 26 1/8 x 20 in. (66.4 x 50.8 cm)

signed and numbered 25/25 in pencil (there were also 5 artist's proofs), pale mat staining, otherwise in very good condition, framed.

$20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for $43,750

Modern & Contemporary Editions

21 Nov 2010
New York