Reclining Nude by Henri Matisse - HCPS Blogs

Reclining Nude by Henri Matisse - HCPS Blogs

Large Reclining Nude

by

Henri Matisse

A photographic record of his development of

the painting

Henri Matisse was one of the most prolific and influential artists of the 20th century. In 1935, Matisse took the unusual step of

documenting the creation of his painting, Large Reclining Nude,

informally known as Pink Nude, from start to finish through

photographs. This process captured successive stages of the image as it evolved over a five-month period.

It was a complex piece, which moved from a more illusionistic

representation of a nude figure to a one featuring flat shapes

and broad geometric patterns. The photographs also show how Matisse sometimes pinned paper to the canvas to make

temporary, easily changed modifications.

Matisse sent this series of 22 photos of Large Reclining Nude to his long-time patron Etta Cone in Baltimore. Etta and her sister, Dr. Claribel

Cone, had supported Matisse since the beginning of his career thirty

years earlier and purchased many of his works. Matisse wrote to Etta

on September 19, 1935: I hope that these different works give you a little amusement - and my goal will be realized. Thrilled to witness the

creative process of her favorite artist, Etta added the finished painting

to her collection.

Visit the Jewish Museum site for a breakdown of the sequence looking specifically at changes to the figure, the room, the patterns,

etc. with an audio discussion of Matisse and his process.

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