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Two Models Resting

Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954)

In Two Models Resting, two women, one in colorful garments and the other in white, recline among objects and textiles in Henri Matisse’s elaborately decorated studio. In the 1920s Matisse often posed his European models in articles of North African dress that he kept as studio costumes. The resulting pictures were modern reinterpretations of the odalisque, or concubine in the harem of a Turkish sultan, a figure common in French Neoclassical art of the 1800s. The loose-fitting pants, caftans, and turbans in which Matisse dressed his models also reflected an Orientalist trend in contemporary French fashions. Matisse’s modern odalisques were overtly figures of sensual fantasy, but the artist also expected his viewers to recognize deep emotive qualities in the colorful rhythms of the composition itself.

Object Details

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