Nu, Main gauche près de l'Épaule
Back to all artworks

Henri Matisse

Nu, Main gauche près de l'Épaule

GMT Galerie Marc Triebold

Date 1926

Period 20th century

Dimension 43.8 x 54.5 cm (17¹/₄ x 21¹/₂ inches)

Framed dimension cm (52 x 60 x 3 inches)

Our pencil drawing ‘Nu, main gauche près de l'épaule’ from 1926 was created when Matisse was already living in Nice. He furnished his studio with decorative Moroccan elements such as carpets, cushions, curtains, blankets and vases. In this artificially created paradise, the figures stand out clearly from the background, while at the same time blending in with the ornamental surroundings. Matisse worked directly with the model throughout his life. Influenced by his academic training, the female figure was his main subject: in contrast to the landscape or still life, it was the most interesting for him. With a single outline, he captured the figure lying on her side. She has crossed her legs, raised her upper body and is leaning on her crossed arms. The woman is looking directly at the viewer - the artist. A necklace is depicted in simplified form, the woman is wrapped in a shawl and lying on a blanket decorated with ornamentation indicated by dots. Matisse is not depicting a woman, but painting a picture. The artist captured the model, felt her inside him and gave free rein to his hand. It is more about the transformation of reality than the pure depiction.

‘Without voluptuous pleasure, nothing exists,’ said the artist. Today we associate Matisse with vibrancy, harmony and sensuality. Arguably no series of work exemplifies these three qualities better than his ‘Odalisques’ from the 1920s and 1930s, when he was living in Nice.

Having fled Paris for the French Riviera at the end of the First World War, Matisse began painting exotic-looking women in richly decorated, indoor settings. More often than not, they were in a state of luxurious repose.

Matisse produced several thousand drawings over the course of his career. What typified these were lines that managed to be classically simple yet dreamily unfettered at the same time.

The artist himself claimed that drawing was ‘the purest and most direct translation’ of his creativity. According to the late New York Times art critic John Russell, meanwhile, the Frenchman was ‘among the most seductive draughtsmen who ever lived’.

Date: 1926

Period: 20th century

Signature: Registered in the artist's archive under no. V 392 George Matisse, Issy-les-Moulineaux 2023

Dimension: 43.8 x 54.5 cm (17¹/₄ x 21¹/₂ inches)

Provenance: Sammlung Sam & Lilette Szafran, Malakoff; Galerie Ludorff, Düsseldorf, Germany

Discover the Gallery

GMT Galerie Marc Triebold

19th to 21st Century paintings, sculptures, works on paper and prints. German Expressionism, Modern, internationally significant Contemporary Art, Katsushika Hokusai

An unhandled error has occurred. Reload 🗙