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Seated Nude, Back Turned

1917
Henri Matisse, French, 1869 - 1954

In 1917 Henri Matisse gravitated toward a more realistic treatment of the human figure, as seen in this painting of a nude woman seated on the floor. The careful application of shading in gray tones to render the solid volume of the model’s back is a sign of this larger turn. Matisse also began to pay more attention to the rendering of three-dimensional space, as indicated here by the diagonal orientation of the floorboards. Yet Matisse’s interest in more stylized and decorative effects is just as evident in the patterns seen on the blue-and-white branched motif of a Jouy Print fabric, the black stripes on the yellow chair, and the spotted cushion on which the nude sits.

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Object Details

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