Sunday, 26 February 2012

Gilden's Arts Gallery is proud to show this new acquisition:
(Emile Benoît) Le Cateau-Cambrésis 1869-1954 Nice
Title: Sitting Nude with Tulle Shirt  / Nu Assis a la Chemise de Tulle, 1925
Original Hand Signed and Numbered Lithograph on Chine paper
Paper Size: 48.9 x 37.5 cm / 14.2 x 11.25 in
Plate Size: 36.5 x 28.6 cm / 19.25 x 14.8 in
Additional Information: This is an original lithograph by Henri Matisse.
It is hand signed in pencil by the artist "Henri Matisse" at the lower right margin.
It is also hand numbered in pencil at the lower right margins "40/50".
This early work was printed by Fernand Mourlot, Paris in 1925 in a small edition of only 50 impressions. There were a further 10 artists' proofs.
Odalisques were the most popular subject of Matisse's Nice period, during the 1920s. They appear in diverse poses: reclining, lounging, seated, or standing, frequently with their arms raised or folded behind the head. Dressed or semi-dressed in exotic attire, they are placed against a decorative background of richly patterned fabrics and oriental rugs and surrounded by oriental accoutrements. Matisse's primary model for these depictions, from 1920 to 1927, was Henriette Darricarrière (born 1901), a young woman skilled in the arts of ballet, piano, violin, and painting who lived near Matisse's studio.
The model's sculpturesque body, languorously stretching on the couch, exudes sensuality and carnality. The mood of "luxe, calme et volupté" is clearly palpable. Yet, contemplating the work, one gets the impression that the artist somehow distanced himself from the erotic content of the picture while leaving the excitement of recognition to the viewer.
The theme of odalisques during Matisse's Nice period is central not only to his prints, but also to his paintings, sculptures and drawings.
Literature: Henri Matisse: Catalogue Raisone de L'oeuvre grav'e, Claude Duthuit, Paris,1983.
Reference: Duthuit 465

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