- Henri Matisse
- 款識：畫家簽名 Henri Matisse（右下）
- 48 x 63公分
- 18 7/8 x 24 3/4英寸
Alexander Iolas Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1983
London, Hanover Gallery, Pen, Pencil & Paper, 1970, illustrated in the catalogue
The female figure served as continual inspiration for Matisse across his range of artistic media and it is in charcoal that we find some of his most sensual renderings. The woman’s body is beautifully realised by subtle tonal gradations that suggest the soft texture of the female form. The composition of the present work recalls the odalisques that dominate his output during the 1920s and 30s. The model is surrounded by gradations of shadow that suggest the shifting posture of the sitter as she moves on the divan. Nu couché reveals the delicate relationship between his artistic ideals of the time and his creative processes. Matisse himself once observed, ‘I believe study by means of drawing is most essential. If drawing is the spirit and colour of the sense, you must draw first, to cultivate the spirit and to be able to lead colour into spiritual paths’ (Lydia Delectorskaya, With Apparent Ease… Henri Matisse, Paris, 1988, p. 86).