Between 1946 and 1948, Matisse concentrated on a series of large-scale drawings that closely relate to paintings of the same period. The present work is a wonderful example from this series, serving as a study for Deux fillettes, fond jaune et rouge, in the collection of the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia (see fig. 1). While immersed in an exploration of color through his cut outs, Matisse simultaneously reached a new level of intensity in his investigation of positive and negative space through drawing. Capturing the immediate world around him in his bedridden state, Matisse "arranged for the array of objects that had followed him from studio to studio for more than forty years to be brought from Nice. These were simple, commonplace objects of no particular value, sometimes exotic artefacts he had brought back from his journeys to Morocco or Algeria, items one could see in any bourgeois household of the time: a water jug, a coffee pot, an Alsatian wine glass, brightly patterned fabrics, a wrought-iron pedestal table ashtrays, shells, Fez pottery, Chinese porcelain, English china" (Marie-France Boyer, Matisse at Villa Le Rêve, 1943-1948, London, 2004, p. 9).