Henri Matisse

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Henri Matisse
Woman Resting in an Interior
October 1941
Charcoal, with stumping, on cream wove paper
15 15/16 x 20 3/4 inches (40.5 x 52.7 cm)
Promised gift of Richard and Mary L. Gray to the Morgan Library & Museum.

Signed and dated recto, lower right, in black pencil: "Henri Matisse / 10/41;" inscribed lower right in graphite (framer's mark?): "11 x ?;" upper right, in black pencil: "xx".

Artist; Galerie Rousso, Paris; sold Sotheby's, New York, May 17, 1990, lot 170, to Richard and Mary L. Gray.

In 1941, while convalescing from a serious illness, Matisse devised a fresh approach to his interest in repeated motifs: a drawing series that he would publish in 1943 as Themes and Variations. Comprising 162 drawings organized into 17 groups, the series mostly depicts female figures reclining or relaxing in chairs. This sheet is characterized by the contrasts of charcoal and paper and of flatness and depth, as well as by its fluid, energetic line. Other studies in Themes and Variations use a much sparer line to render their subject. As a whole, the series demonstrates the artist's commitment to capturing a drawing's essence through serial reworking.
Watermark: ARCHES

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