Artist: Henri Matisse (French, Le Cateau-Cambrésis 1869–1954 Nice)
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 17 1/2 x 21 3/4 in. (44.5 x 55.2 cm)
Credit Line: Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number: 1975.1.194
Rights and Reproduction: © 2016 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Painted in Collioure, a scenic town on the Mediterranean coast that drew many painters in the early years of the twentieth century, Promenade among the Olive Trees is one of the earliest and most important paintings of Matisse’s Fauve period. Inspired by the works of his older contemporaries Paul Signac and Henri-Edmond Cross, who also lived in the south of France at this time, Matisse adopted the vibrant, unnatural colors favored by the Fauves. The artist found great inspiration in the sun-drenched landscape of Collioure, writing to a friend that it was full of “charming sites.” This painting was acquired by the collectors Gertrude and Leo Stein shortly after it was completed.