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Large Seated Nude

Modeled 1922-1929; cast c. 1931
Henri Matisse, French, 1869 - 1954. Cast by C. Valsuani

Large Seated Nude depicts Henriette Darricarrère, Henri Matisse’s favorite model of the 1920s, in a quintessential pose. Gone are the clothing, accessories, and decorated studio environment that feature in many related drawings, prints, and paintings. What remains is the recumbent body in counterbalanced curved and oblique shapes. Matisse worked for seven years to achieve the dynamic rhythm of this figure, with her entwined legs; elongated, backward-leaning torso; and raised arms. The planes carved into the form intensify the physical tension of this posture. Among the largest and most ambitious sculptures Matisse ever made, Large Seated Nude forecasted a more general turn toward monumentality in his treatment of the human figure.

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Object Details
Acquired from the artist by Curt Valentin, New York, 1948; sold to R. Sturgis Ingersoll (1891-1973), Philadelphia, August 13, 1948 [1]; gift of R. Sturgis and Marion B. F. Ingersoll to PMA, 1960.1. See letter from Ingersoll to Anne d'Harnoncourt, September 3, 1968 (PMA archives, copy in curatorial file), stating that this cast was in Henri Matisse's drawing room, from whom Valentin purchased it for Ingersoll when it became available.

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