Curt Valentin (Galerie Buccholz), New York (acquired in 1948)
Pelle Borjesson, Göteborg (acquired in 1953)
Mrs. Richard Buol, New Britain
Galerie Jacques Benador, Geneva
Lionel Prejger, Paris (acquired in 1982)
Waddington Galleries, London
Acquired by the present owner from the above in 1983
Albert Elsen, The Sculpture of Henri Matisse, New York, 1972, illustrations of the terra cotta version and another cast, p. 123
Musée National d'Art Moderne, Henri Matisse Dessins et sculpture, Paris, 1975
François Garnaud, Henri Matisse, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre sculpte, Paris, 1994, no. 34, illustrations of another cast, pp. 72-73
Claude Duthuit, Henri Matisse, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre sculpté, Paris, 1997, no. 34, illustrations of another cast, pp. 86-88
Carmen Gimenez, et. al., A Century of Sculpture: The Nasher Collection, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, 1996
Matisse crafted an important series of small sculptural portraits between 1905 and 1907. Though none are more than 6 inches tall, these sculptures reveal the potency of Matisse's early forays into the medium. Created towards the end of this series, Tête au collier is one of the most powerful of the group. With ostensibly simple gestural movements, the artist conveys an emotional depth that belies the work's modest scale. Albert Elsen commented on the current work and its importance within the artist's oeuvre: "Recalling the great painted portrait of his wife in 1905, Woman with a Hat, the girl's hair is used as a canopy for the head. In the absence of color and its expressive use by complementaries, Matisse fashioned reciprocal shapes, so that the entire conception from shoulder to hairdo consists of rhythm and rhyme; necklace, jaw, and pompadour are conjugates of each other, as are the cheekbones, eyes, and flanking bulges of the hair style. No painted portrait makes us as conscious of the bone structure...The desired character of the girl is now manifest, along with the workings of Matisse's intellect as he meditated on the adolescent visage" (Albert E. Elsen, The Sculpture of Henri Matisse, New York, 1972, p. 122).
The Bingen et Costenoble Foundry produced two casts of Tête au collier, numbered 0 and 00, around 1908. Later, between 1925 and 1951, the Valsuani Foundry cast a series of the sculpture numbered 1 through 10. The current cast was produced in 1930. Other casts of this work can be found in the esteemed Cone Collection at the Baltimore Museum of Art and at the Musée Matisse in Nice.
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