55
55
Henri Matisse
NU ASSIS BRAS SUR LA TÊTE
Estimate
600,000800,000
LOT SOLD. 1,113,600 USD
JUMP TO LOT
55
Henri Matisse
NU ASSIS BRAS SUR LA TÊTE
Estimate
600,000800,000
LOT SOLD. 1,113,600 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening

|
New York

Henri Matisse
1869 - 1954
NU ASSIS BRAS SUR LA TÊTE

Inscribed with the initials HM, stamped with the foundry mark  C. Valsuani, Cire perdue and numbered 6/10


Bronze
Height: 13 3/4 in.
34.9 cm
Conceived in Paris in 1904 and cast circa 1930.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Theodor Ahrenberg, Stockholm (sold: Sotheby's, London, July 7, 1960, lot 10)

J. Kitching, London

Sale: Sotheby's London, October 23, 1963, lot 78

Roland, Browse & Delbanco, London (acquired at the above sale)

Private Collection, Switzerland

Exhibited

Paris, Maison de la Pensée Française, Henri Matisse, Chapelle, Peinture, Dessins, Sculpture, 1950, no. 76

London, Tate Gallery, The Sculpture of Matisse and three paintings with drawings, 1953, no. 9

Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek; Ottawa, The National Gallery of Canada; Oslo, Kunsternes Hus; Rotterdam, Museum Boymans van Beuningen, Henri Matisse, Skulpturer, Malerier, Farveklip, 1953-54, no. 8

Stockholm, Nationalmuseum, Modern Utländsk Konst, Ur Svenska Privatsamlingar, 1954, no. 96

Stockholm, Nationalmuseum, Henri Matisse, Apollon, Utställning anordnad I samarbete med Medicinska Föreningen, 1957, no. 13

Helsinki, Helsingin Taidehalli; Liège, Maison Liègeoise, Henri Matisse, Apollon, Theodor Ahrenbergin, 1957-58, no. 138

Zürich, Kunsthaus Zürich, Henri Matisse, 1959, no. 11

Gothenburg Könsthallen, Henri Matisse, Ur Theodor Ahrenbergs Samling, 1960, no. 168

Literature

Albert E. Elsen, The Sculpture of Henri Matisse, New York, 1971, no. 69, illustration of the Baltimore Museum of Art cast p. 60

Michael P. Mezzatesta, Henri Matisse, Sculptor/Painter (exhibition catalogue), Fort Worth, Texas, 1984, illustration of another cast 48

Isabelle Monod-Fontaine, The Sculpture of Henri Matisse, London, 1984, illustration of another cast pl. 11

Pierre Schneider, Henri Matisse, Matisse en l'Italie (exhibition catalogue), Milan, 1987, no. s 9, illustration of another cast p. 170 

Claude Duthuit, Henri Matisse, Catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre sculpté, Paris, 1994, no. 15, illustration of another cast p. 35

Claude Duthuit and Wanda de Guébriant, Henri Matisse, Catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre sculpté, Paris, 1997, no. 15, illustration of another cast p. 37

Catalogue Note

The medium of sculpture allowed Matisse a control over his subjects that he could not have in his paintings. The tactile experience of molding the clay with his hands enabled him to feel the form as he created it and to appreciate the sensuality of the figure in the round. Nu assis bras sur la tête was conceived in 1904, in the years just before the height of Matisse's Fauvist period. In lieu of the wild coloration that emboldened his oils from these years, the expressive power of this work derives from the gestures of the limbs that the artist has pinched, twisted and stretched into place. Other casts of this work can be found in the Musée Matisse in Nice, the Baltimore Museum of Art and in the Kunstmuseum in Bern.

In his book, The Sculpture of Henri Matisse, Albert E. Elsen writes of the present work, "... the model's gesture shows that thousands of similar interpretations have not deprived it of instinct and energy. The traditional posture of raising the arms thrust the chest forward and not only liberated the silhouettes of the torso, but extended the figure's height and the vertical movement initiated at the ankles. Matisse never tired of the use of this arrangement of the arms (see fig. 2). In the full figure it gave him another set of axes to enrich the body's structure. Even after he had employed the raised arms position sculpturally for the last time in 1950, he would continue to use it in his paper cutouts (see fig. 3). Perhaps for the artist it was an emblem of femininity..." (Elsen, op. cit., p. 58).

Figure 1  Matisse in his Paris studio with a cast of the present work on the mantlepiece behind

Figure 2  Matisse in his studio, Villa Alésia, Paris, 1939

Figure 3  Henri Matisse, Nu bleu debout, gouache on cut paper pasted on paper, Private Collection

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening

|
New York