Beginning in December 1917 Matisse spent the winter months in the south of France. This painting features several elements that reappear in other of his so-called Nice-period works: boldly patterned wallpaper, elaborately pierced and appliquéd textiles of North African origin, additional works by the artist (in this case, a plaster of a reclining female figure is visible atop the mirrored armoire), and an alluring view of palm trees and the Mediterranean Sea outside the studio window. The woman shown seated before the easel was Matisse's favorite model at the time, Henriette Darricarrère. An accomplished musician and ballerina, she suffered from stage fright so severe that by 1924 she had decided to forsake live performance for a career in the visual arts. Matisse began instructing her the year this canvas was painted.
Inscription: Signed (lower left): Henri-Matisse
the artist (1924–at least 1925); [probably Valentine Dudensing, New York, until 1926 or 1927; probably sold in 1926 or 1927 to Clark]; Stephen C. Clark, New York (probably by 1926 or 1927–1948; sold in 1948 to Cushman); Mr. and Mrs. Paul Cushman, Syosset, Long Island (1948–58); their son, Roderick H. Cushman (1958–2008)
Paris. Terrasse des Tuileries. "Salon d'automne," September 26–November 2, 1925, no. 614 (as "Intérieur [Le modèle], le matin").
Paris. Galeries Georges Petit. "Henri Matisse, Exposition organisée au profit de l'Orphelinat des Arts," June 16–July 25, 1931, no. 107 (as "L'Atelier à Nice," lent by Stephan [sic] C. Clark, New York).
Kunsthalle Basel. "Henri-Matisse," August 9–September 15, 1931, no. 82 (as "L'Atelier de Nice," lent by Stephen C. Clark, New York).
Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Summer Exhibition: Painting and Sculpture," June 7–October 30, 1932, no catalogue.
New York. Stephen C. Clark's home, 46 East 70th Street. "Exhibition of Matisse paintings to benefit Hope Farm," November 16–17, 1932, no catalogue.
Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Henri Matisse: Retrospective Exhibition of Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture," April 3–May 9, 1948, no. 60 (as "Studio at Nice, Afternoon Sitting," lent by Mr. and Mrs. Paul Cushman, New York).
New York. Paul Rosenberg & Co. "Loan Exhibition of Paintings by Henri Matisse," April 5–May 1, 1954, no. 10 (as "Studio at Nice," lent by Mr. and Mrs. Paul Cushman).
New York. Hirschl & Adler Galleries, Inc. "The Eye of Stieglitz," October 7–November 2, 1978, no. 45 (as "L'Atelier à Nice," lent by a private collection).
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "Henri Matisse: The Early Years in Nice, 1916–1930," November 2, 1986–March 29, 1987, no. 132 (as "La séance de trois heures [The Three O'Clock Session]," lent by a private collection).
London. Tate Gallery. "On Classic Ground: Picasso, Léger, de Chirico and the New Classicism, 1910–1930," June 6–September 2, 1990, no. 119 (as "The Three O'Clock Session," lent by a private collection).
Portland, Me. Portland Museum of Art. "Impressions of the Riviera: Monet, Renoir, Matisse and their Contemporaries," June 25–October 18, 1998, no. 41 (as "La Séance de Trois Heures [The Three O'Clock Sitting]," Portland Museum of Art, Maine. Lent anonymously. L36).
Williamstown, Mass. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. "The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings," June 4–September 4, 2006, no. 285 (as "The Three O'Clock Session [The Three O'Clock Sitting]," lent by a private collection).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings," May 22–August 19, 2007, no. 285.
Staatsgalerie Stuttgart. "Mythos Atelier. Von Spitzweg bis Picasso, von Giacometti bis Nauman," October 27, 2012–March 3, 2013, no. 22 (as "Die Drei-Uhr-Sitzung").
Philippe Marcel. "Henri Matisse." L'Art d'aujourd'hui 1 (summer 1924), colorpl. XXX, as "La séance de trois heures".
Jacques Mauny. "The Autumn Salon." Arts 8 (November 1925), ill. p. 287, as "The Model".
Florent Fels. Henri-Matisse. Paris, 1929, pl. 23, as "La Séance de trois heures".
W[aldemar]. G[eorge]. "The Dual Aspect of Matisse." Formes 16 (June 1931), ill. between pp. 94 and 95, as "L'Atelier (The Studio)" in the collection of Stephan [sic] C. Clark, New York.
Edward Alden Jewell. "Art in Review: Mr. and Mrs. S. C. Clark Open Benefit Exhibition of Their Collection of Matisse Canvases." New York Times (November 16, 1932), p. 23, as "The Three O'Clock Pose".
Jean H. Lipman. "Matisse Paintings in the Stephen C. Clark Collection." Art in America 22 (October 1934), pp. 143–44, calls it "Afternoon Sitting".
R[iichiro]. Kawashima. Matisse. Tokyo, 1936, unpaginated, ill. (color).
Alexander Romm. Matisse: A Social Critique. New York, 1947, p. 96, ill., as "Studio at Nice".
Thomas B. Hess. "Matisse: A Life of Color." Art News 47 (April 1948), ill. p. 18, as "Afternoon Sitting".
Morris Davidson. An Approach to Modern Painting. New York, 1948, p. 89, fig. 55, as "Interior".
Giuseppe Marchiori. Matisse. New York, , pl. 71, as "The Afternoon Pose".
Massimo Carrà. L'Opera di Matisse dall rivolta 'fauve' all'intimismo, 1904–1928. Milan, 1971, p. 103, no. 421, ill.
Jack Cowart and Dominique Fourcade. Henri Matisse: The Early Years in Nice, 1916–1930. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. Washington, 1986, p. 318, no. 132, ill. and colorpl. 149, date it early 1924 and identify the models as Henriette and her brother.
Elizabeth Cowling in Elizabeth Cowling and Jennifer Mundy. On Classic Ground: Picasso, Léger, de Chirico and the New Classicism 1910–1930. Exh. cat., Tate Gallery. London, 1990, pp. 13, 184, no. 119, ill. (color), notes the resemblance of the nude's pose to archaic sculpture and suggests it references "the continuing validity of the classical tradition".
Sophie Monneret. Matisse. Paris, 1994, p. 114, no. 455, ill.
Guy-Patrice and Michel Dauberville. Matisse: Henri Matisse chez Bernheim-Jeune. Paris, 1995, vol. 2, p. 1226, no. 636, ill., call it "La femme peintre et le modèle" and date it 1925; note that it was in the artist's collection in 1925 and photographed by Bernheim-Jeune in July of that year.
John Elderfield. Pleasuring Painting: Matisse's Feminine Representations. New York, 1995, pp. 36, 41, fig. 28, as "The Three O'Clock Session"; calls it a reprise of "Carmelina" (about 1903–4; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) with Henriette playing the role of the artist; identifies the sculpture "Reclining Nude (I)" in the background.
Kenneth E. Silver inImpressions of the Riviera: Monet, Renoir, Matisse and their Contemporaries. Exh. cat., Portland Museum of Art. Portland, Maine, 1998, pp. 52–53, 78, no. 41, fig. 52 (color).
John H. Cauman. "Matisse and America, 1905–1933." PhD diss., City University of New York, 2000, p. 486.
Pierre Schneider. Matisse. Rev. ed. (English ed., 1984). Paris, 2002, p. 426, as "La Pose de l'après-midi".
Gilbert T. Vincent and Sarah Lees inThe Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings. Exh. cat., Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, Mass., 2006, p. 197 n. 112.
Sarah Lees inThe Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings. Exh. cat., Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, Mass., 2006, pp. 273–74, 337, no. 285, fig. 201 (color), notes that it was recently acquired by Clark in 1931.
Carol Vogel. "Two Met Acquisitions." New York Times (December 12, 2008), pp. C33–34, ill. (color).
Rebecca A. Rabinow in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2008–2010." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 68 (Fall 2010), pp. 68–69, ill. (color).
Shirley Neilsen Blum. Henri Matisse: Rooms with a View. New York, 2010, pp. 128–29, 187, ill. (color), dates it spring 1924; notes that Matisse gave painting lessons to Henriette, represented here.
Ina Conzen inMythos Atelier. Von Spitzweg bis Picasso, von Giacometti bis Nauman. Ed. Ina Conzen. Exh. cat., Staatsgalerie Stuttgart. Stuttgart, 2012, pp. 17, 61, 63–64, 262, no. 22, ill. p. 80 (color).