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Laurette in a Green Robe, Black Background

Henri Matisse (French, Le Cateau-Cambrésis 1869–1954 Nice)

Date:
1916
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
28 3/4 x 21 3/8 in. (73 x 54.3cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection, 1998
Accession Number:
1999.363.43
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2011 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Description

    Between December 1916 and the close of 1917, Matisse painted at least twenty-five pictures of an Italian model named Laurette. She also posed with her sister and a woman named Aïcha for some fifteen additional works by the artist. Sometimes Matisse depicted Laurette wide-awake, as in a series of close-up portraits, and at other times she is shown lounging languorously on a sofa. Sometimes she wears the exotic costume or headdress of an odalisque. This painting, however, is different. Here, Laurette, in floppy slippers, without her usual decorative accessories, and undoubtedly nude under the voluminous green robe, appears to rest between sittings. Since there are no indications of the room or the surrounding space, the curvilinear shape of the plush Second Empire armchair envelops Laurette like a fluffy pink cloud upon which she seems to float like an earthy Madonna. Matisse painted these pictures of Laurette in his fourth-floor studio at 19, Quai Saint-Michel in Paris, which was opposite police headquarters on the Île de la Cité across the Seine. As the artist's son Pierre recalled, Laurette was somewhat unconventional and, during breaks from posing, would go to the open window for some air, oblivious to the fact that she was stark naked; at these times, the windows of the police station were filled with gawking men.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right): H. Matisse 16

  • Provenance

    the artist (1916–d. 1954; his estate, 1954–57); his son, Pierre Matisse, New York (1957–69; sold on October 24, 1969 to Gelman); Jacques and Natasha Gelman, Mexico City and New York (1969–his d. 1986); Natasha Gelman, Mexico City and New York (1986–d. 1998; her bequest to MMA)

  • Exhibition History

    Copenhagen. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. "Henri Matisse. Udstilling af hans Arbejder," September 1924, no. 46 (as "Ung dame i en lænestol") [possibly this picture].

    Stockholm. Nationalmuseum. "Henri Matisse. Utställning av hans arbeten," October 1924, no. 46 [possibly this picture].

    Oslo. location unknown. "Henri Matisse," November–December 1924, no catalogue [possibly this picture].

    Kunsthaus Zürich. "Internationale Kunstausstellung," August–September 1925, no. 296 (as "Femme dormant dans une bergère," lent by a private collection, Paris) [probably this picture].

    New York. Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Henri Matisse: Retrospective Exhibition," November 3–December 6, 1931, no. 34 (as "The Green Dress," lent by the artist).

    Providence. Rhode Island School of Design. "Henri Matisse," December 14–28, 1931, no. 15 (as "The Green Dress," lent by the artist).

    New York. Pierre Matisse Gallery. "Masterpieces of Modern Painting and Sculpture," January 5–30, 1937, no. 11 (as "The Green Dress").

    New York. Pierre Matisse Gallery. "Drawings by Henri Matisse and Small Pictures by French Painters," April 15–May 3, 1941, no. 10 (as "The Green Robe").

    Musée des Beaux Arts, Lucerne. "Henri Matisse," July 9–October 22, 1949, no. 48 (as "Laurette sur fond noir," lent by the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris [sic]).

    Paris. Maison de la Pensée Française. "Henri Matisse—chapelle, peinture, dessins, sculptures," July 5–September 24, 1950, no. 43 (as "Laurette sur fond noir").

    New York. Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Henri Matisse," November 13, 1951–January 13, 1952, no. 46 (as "The Green Robe [Laurette sur fond noir]," lent by the artist).

    Cleveland Museum of Art. "Henri Matisse," February 5–March 16, 1952, no. 46.

    Art Institute of Chicago. "Henri Matisse," April 1–May 4, 1952, no. 46.

    San Francisco Museum of Art. "Henri Matisse," May 22–July 6, 1952, no. 46.

    Los Angeles Municipal Art Department. "Henri Matisse," July 24–August 17, 1952, no. 29.

    Paris. Grand Palais des Champs Élysées. "Salon d'Automne. Exposition rétrospective d'œuvres de Henri Matisse (1869–1953)," November 5–30, 1955, no. 171 (as "Laurette sur fond noir").

    Paris. Musée National d'Art Moderne. "Rétrospective Henri Matisse," July 28–November 18, 1956, no. 44 (as "Lorette sur fond noir," lent from a private collection).

    Berkeley. UCLA Art Galleries. "Henri Matisse: Retrospective," January 5–February 27, 1966, no. 43 (as "The Green Robe," lent by Mr. and Mrs. Pierre Matisse).

    Art Institute of Chicago. "Henri Matisse: Retrospective," March 11–April 24, 1966, no. 43.

    Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Henri Matisse: Retrospective," May 11–June 26, 1966, no. 43.

    New York. Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Henri Matisse: 64 Paintings," July 18–September 25, 1966, no. 30 (as "The Green Robe. Lorette sur Fond noir," lent by Mr. and Mrs. Pierre Matisse, New York).

    London. Hayward Gallery. "Matisse," July 3–September 8, 1968, no. 62 (as "The Green Robe," lent from a private collection, New York).

    Paris. Grand Palais. "Henri Matisse: Exposition du centenaire," April–September 1970, no. 132 (as "Laurette sur fond noir, robe verte," lent by M. et Mme J. Gelman, Mexico).

    Copenhagen. Statens Museum for Kunst. "Matisse: En retrospektiv udstilling," October 10–November 29, 1970, no. 40 (as "Laurette sur fond noir, robe verte," lent by Mr. and Mrs. Jacques Gelman, Mexico).

    Washington. National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "Henri Matisse: The Early Years in Nice, 1916–1930," November 2, 1986–March 29, 1987, no. 8 (as "Lorette sur fond noir, robe verte [Lorette, Black Background, Green Dress]," lent from a private collection).

    Venice. Museo Correr. "Henri Matisse: Matisse et l'Italie," May 30–October 18, 1987, no. P29 (lent from a private collection).

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Twentieth Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection," December 12, 1989–April 1, 1990, unnumbered cat. (p. 142).

    London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Twentieth Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection," April 19–July 15, 1990, unnumbered cat.

    Mexico City. Centro Cultural Arte Contemporaneo. "La Colección de Pintura Mexicana de Jacques y Natasha Gelman," June 23–October 11, 1992, not in catalogue.

    Paris. Centre Georges Pompidou. "Henri Matisse 1904–1917," February 25–June 21, 1993, no. 144 (as "Lorette sur fond noir, robe verte").

    Martigny. Fondation Pierre Gianadda. "De Matisse à Picasso: Collection Jacques et Natasha Gelman," June 18–November 1, 1994, unnumbered cat. (p. 166).

    London. Tate Modern. "Matisse, Picasso," May 11–August 18, 2002, no. 101 (as "Lorette in a Green Robe against a Black Background").

    Paris. Grand Palais. "Matisse, Picasso," September 25, 2002–January 6, 2003, no. 101.

    New York. Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Matisse, Picasso," February 13–May 19, 2003, no. 101.

    West Palm Beach. Norton Museum of Art. "Matisse in Transition: Around Laurette," January 28–April 16, 2006, no. 9 (as "Laurette in a Green Robe [Black Background]").

    Centre Pompidou, Paris, Galerie 2. "Matisse. Paires et séries," March 7–June 18, 2012, unnumbered cat. (p. 112).

    Copenhagen. Statens Museum for Kunst. "Matisse—fordobling og variation," July 14–October 28, 2012, no. 35.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Matisse: In Search of True Painting," December 4, 2012–March 17, 2013, no. 35.

  • References

    A[lfred]. H. B[arr]., Jr. Henri Matisse: Retrospective Exhibition. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1931, pp. 19–20, 48, no. 34, ill.

    Virginia Nirdlinger. "The Matisse Way. Forty Years in the Evolution of an Individualist." Parnassus 3 (November 1931), p. 6.

    Roger Fry. Henri Matisse. New York, 1935, pl. 30.

    R. H. Wilenski. Modern French Painters. New York, [1940], p. 259.

    Howard Devree. "A Reviewer's Notebook: Brief Comment on Some of the Recently Opened Exhibitions in Galleries." New York Times (April 20, 1941), p. X10.

    Maurice Raynal. Peintres du XXe siècle. Geneva, 1947, colorpl. 11.

    Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Matisse: His Art and His Public. New York, 1951, p. 191, ill. p. 412.

    Gaston Diehl. Notices by Agnès Humbert. Henri Matisse. [Paris], 1958, p. 54.

    Jacques Lassaigne. Matisse. Lausanne, 1959, p. 77.

    Raymond Escholier, with introduction and notes on illustrations by R. H. Wilenski. Matisse: A Portrait of the Artist and the Man. New York, 1960, p. 152 [French ed., 1956, p. 181].

    Jean Selz. Matisse. New York, [1964], ill. p. 40 (color).

    Frederick Brill. Matisse. London, 1967, p. 36, colorpl. 20.

    Jean Guichard Meili. Matisse. New York, 1967, pl. 77.

    Pierre Schneider with Tamara Préaud, eds. Henri Matisse: Exposition du centenaire. Exh. cat., Grand Palais. Paris, 1970, p. 82, no. 132, ill. p. 202.

    Denys Sutton. "The Mozart of Painting." Apollo 92 (November 1970), ill. p. 359 (color).

    Massimo Carrà. L'Opera di Matisse dall rivolta 'fauve' all'intimismo, 1904–1928. Milan, 1971, pp. 94–95, no. 218, ill. and colorpl. XXXV.

    [Louis] Aragon. Henri Matisse: A Novel. New York, 1972, vol. 2, pp. 98, 360, colorpl. XV.

    Jack D. Flam. The Norton Matisses: The Rose, Lorette, Two Rays. [West Palm Beach], 1973, unpaginated.

    Jean Laude. "Les 'ateliers' de Matisse." Colóquio. Artes, no. 18 (June 1974), pp. 19–20.

    Douglas Mannering. The Art of Matisse. [London], 1982, pp. 53–54, ill. (color).

    Dominique Fourcade in Bonjour Monsieur Manet. Exh. cat., Musée national d'art moderne. Paris, 1983, pp. 28–29, 32 n. 20, ill.

    Nicholas Watkins. Matisse. Oxford, 1984, pp. 138, 141, colorpl. 123.

    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. 278, no. 8, ill. and colorpl. 5.

    Jack Flam. Matisse: The Man and His Art, 1869–1918. Ithaca, 1986, pp. 441, 505 n. 9, fig. 450 (color).

    Dominique Fourcade. "Crise du cadre." Cahiers du Musée national d'art moderne, no. 17/18 (1986), pp. 74–76, figs. 6, 7 (installation photos), 8.

    Jean Claude Lebensztejn. "Constat amiable." Cahiers du Musée national d'art moderne, no. 17/18 (1986), pp. 84, 90–91.

    Bernard Noël. Matisse. 2nd rev. ed. Paris, 1987, p. 45.

    Pierre Schneider. Henri Matisse: Matisse et l'Italie. Exh. cat., Museo Correr, Venice. Milan, 1987, p. 206, no. P29, ill. p. 77 (color).

    William S. Lieberman in Twentieth Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Ed. William S. Lieberman. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, p. 2.

    Lawrence Gowing in Twentieth Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Ed. William S. Lieberman. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, p. 20.

    Pierre Schneider in Twentieth Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Ed. William S. Lieberman. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, pp. 29–30 n. 2.

    Sabine Rewald in Twentieth Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Ed. William S. Lieberman. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, pp. 142–44, 305, ill. (color and bw).

    Isabelle Monod Fontaine in Matisse: Œuvres de Henri Matisse (1869–1954). Paris, 1989, p. 50, fig. a, under no. 12.

    John Elderfield. Henri Matisse: A Retrospective. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art, New York. New York, 1992, p. 274, no. 203, ill. (color).

    Dominique Fourcade and Isabelle Monod Fontaine. Henri Matisse 1904–1917. Exh. cat., Centre Georges Pompidou. Paris, 1993, pp. 402–3, 513, no. 144, ill. (color and bw).

    Sophie Monneret. Matisse. Paris, 1994, p. 102, no. 259, ill.

    Isabelle Monod Fontaine in Matisse. Ed. Caroline Turner and Roger Benjamin. Exh. cat., Queensland Art Gallery. Brisbane, 1995, pp. 92–93.

    Rémi Labrusse in Matisse: "La révélation m'est venue de l'Orient". Exh. cat., Musei Capitolini, Rome. Florence, 1997, p. 188, ill. (color).

    Isabelle Monod Fontaine in Le Maroc de Matisse. Exh. cat., Institut du Monde Arabe. [Paris], 1999, p. 113, ill. p. 20 (color).

    Sabine Rewald in "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection 1999–2000." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 58 (Autumn 2000), pp. 54–55, ill. (color).

    Françoise Gilot. "Événement: Matisse/Picasso." Beaux Arts, no. 220 (September 2002), p. 56, ill. (color).

    Isabelle Monod Fontaine in Matisse, Picasso. Exh. cat., Tate Modern. London, 2002, pp. 190–94, no. 101, ill. (color).

    Pierre Schneider. Matisse. rev. ed. [English ed., 1984]. Paris, 2002, p. 437, ill. p. 428.

    Chika Amano in Henri Matisse: Processus / Variation. Exh. cat., National Museum of Western Art. Tokyo, 2004, p. 17, ill. p. 37.

    Isabelle Monod Fontaine in Henri Matisse: Processus / Variation. Exh. cat., National Museum of Western Art. Tokyo, 2004, p. 28.

    Isabelle Monod Fontaine. "A Question of Windows: Interior with a Violin." Matisse: Masterpieces at Statens Museum for Kunst. Copenhagen, 2005, pp. 187, 193, 204 n. 9.

    Hilary Spurling. Matisse the Master. A Life of Henri Matisse: The Conquest of Color, 1909–1954. New York, 2005, p. 222.

    Jack Flam. Matisse in Transition: Around Laurette. Exh. cat., Norton Museum of Art. West Palm Beach, 2006, pp. 17–18, 27, no. 9, ill. p. 42 (color).

    John Elderfield in Stephanie D'Alessandro and John Elderfield. Matisse: Radical Invention 1913–1917. Exh. cat., Art Institute of Chicago. Chicago, 2010, pp. 313–14, fig. 4 (color).

    Michele Santulli. Modelle e Modelli Ciociari nell'Arte Europea a Roma, Parigi, Londra nel 1800–1900. Arpino, [2011], p. 133.

    Rémi Labrusse in Matisse. Paires et séries. Exh. cat., Centre Pompidou. Paris, 2012, pp. 111–12, 114–17, ill. (color).

    Elsa Urtizverea in Matisse. Paires et séries. Exh. cat., Centre Pompidou. Paris, 2012, p. 274.

    Dorthe Aagesen and Rebecca Rabinow in Matisse: In Search of True Painting. Ed. Dorthe Aagesen and Rebecca Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2012, p. 8.

    Christel Hollevoet Force and Mary Chan in Matisse: In Search of True Painting. Ed. Dorthe Aagesen and Rebecca Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2012, pp. 212–13.

    Hilary Spurling in Matisse: In Search of True Painting. Ed. Dorthe Aagesen and Rebecca Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2012, p. 106 , no. 35, ill. p. 102 (color).

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