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The Three O'Clock Sitting

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

Date:
1924
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
36 1/4 x 28 3/4 in. (92.1 x 73 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of the Roderick H. Cushman Family in memory of Paul and Cordelia Cushman, 2008
Accession Number:
2008.551
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2011 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Description

    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.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed (lower left): Henri-Matisse

  • Provenance

    the artist (1924–at least 1925); Stephen C. Clark, New York (by 1931–48; sold in 1948 to Cushman); Mr. and Mrs. Paul Cushman, Syosset, Long Island (1948–58); their son, Roderick H. Cushman (1958–2008; his gift to MMA)

  • Exhibition History

    Paris. Terrasse des Tuileries. "Salon d'automne," September 26–November 2, 1925, no. 614 (as "Intérieur (Le modèle), le matin").

    Paris. Galeries George Petit. "Henri Matisse," 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).

    New York. The Museum of Modern Art. "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 from a private collection).

    Washington. National Gallery of Art. "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 from 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 from a private collection).

    Portland, Maine. 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 from 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").

  • References

    Philippe Marcel. "Henri Matisse." L'Art d'aujourd'hui 1 (summer 1924), colorpl. XXX.

    Jacques Mauny. "The Autumn Salon." Arts 8 (November 1925), ill. p. 287.

    Florent Fels. Henri-Matisse. Paris, 1929, pl. 23.

    W[aldemar]. G[eorge]. "The Dual Aspect of Matisse." Formes 16 (June 1931), ill. between pp. 94 and 95.

    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.

    Jean H. Lipman. "Matisse Paintings in the Stephen C. Clark Collection." Art in America 22 (October 1934), pp. 143–44.

    R[iichiro]. Kawashima. Matisse. Tokyo, 1936, unpaginated, ill. (color).

    Alexander Romm. Matisse: A Social Critique. New York, 1947, p. 96, ill.

    Morris Davidson. An Approach to Modern Painting. New York, 1948, p. 89, fig. 55.

    Thomas B. Hess. "Matisse: A Life of Color." Art News 47 (April 1948), ill. p. 18.

    Giuseppe Marchiori. Matisse. New York, [1967], pl. 71.

    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, 1986, p. 318, no. 132, ill. and colorpl. 149.

    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).

    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.

    John Elderfield. Pleasuring Painting: Matisse's Feminine Representations. New York, 1995, pp. 36, 41, fig. 28.

    Kenneth E. Silver in Impressions 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.

    Sarah Lees in The 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).

    Gilbert T. Vincent and Sarah Lees in The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings. Exh. cat., Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, Mass., 2006, p. 197 n. 112.

    Carol Vogel. "Two Met Acquisitions." New York Times (December 12, 2008), pp. C33–34, ill. (color).

    Shirley Neilsen Blum. Henri Matisse: Rooms with a View. New York, 2010, pp. 128–29, 187, 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).

    Ina Conzen in Mythos 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).

  • See also
495585

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