Nu couché (1923-1924)

Matisse, Henri (1869-1954)

Nu couché (Reclining Nude)
Oil on canvas, 60 x 92 cm
Barnes FoundationPhiladelphia

Matisse painted this work in Nice, a city in the South of France that he visited frequently in the 1920s. The canvas is one of several executed at this time of a female nude reclining in front of a patterned folding screen. All are studies in color and composition: the screen serves to flatten and structure the composition, as the vertical panels segment the model’s body. The figure cuts a dynamic diagonal across the picture plane, which seems to tilt up and toward the viewer. The vibrant palette of yellow and pink heightens the sensuality of the model’s pose. (BF)

See also:

• Nice (France)