Henri Matisse - Editions Southampton New York Saturday, June 25, 2022 | Phillips

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  • "Matisse’s old friend and artistic rival Picasso once observed that in his approach to drawing Matisse always aimed to clarify line, in the belief that the best line was 'the most stripped down…the purest, the definitive one.'"
    —Marilyn McCully 

    Henri Matisse in his villa Le reve, Vence, France, 1948. Photograph by Michel Sima
    Henri Matisse in his villa Le reve, Vence, France, 1948. Image: © Michel Sima / Bridgeman Images, Artwork: © 2022 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
    • Provenance

      Private Collection, New York

    • Literature

      Claude Duthuit 808

    • Catalogue Essay

      When Matisse’s son-in-law, Georges Duthuit, met Nadia Sednaoui he thought she would make a good model for the artist. Nadia posed for Matisse throughout the summer of 1948; according to a later journal interview with her, despite the difference in their ages of nearly sixty years, she and the artist immediately established a close rapport. Yale University Art Gallery website

      Printmaking afforded Matisse the opportunity not only to focus on line (as opposed to color in painting) but also to render it with the purity that the artist so much desired. Comparisons can indeed be made between the quality of line in Matisse's prints and in his pencil, ink or charcoal drawings, but when working on a metal plate, the action required from the artist is limited to one determined effort, without the normal allowance in drawings for erasures, overlays or shadows to evoke volume and space. The essence of line in a print, if achieved in the way Matisse wanted, could thus provide all the information that is needed: the presence and character of a model, the definition of spatial relationships within a composition, including both interior and exterior views, and details of a particular setting. Marilyn McCully, Matisse: The Essence of Line, Selected Prints: 1900-1950, Marlborough Gallery, 2013

    • 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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Nadia, au visage rond (Nadia, Round-Faced) (D. 808)

Aquatint, on Marais paper, with full margins.
I. 17 x 13 3/4 in. (43.2 x 34.9 cm)
S. 25 1/2 x 19 3/4 in. (64.8 x 50.2 cm)

Signed and numbered 18/25 in pencil (there were also 5 artist's proofs), framed.

Full Cataloguing

$20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for $23,940

Contact Specialist


212 940 1220

Editions Southampton

New York Auction 25 June 2022