Petite Odalisque, Draperie Verte (Concubine, Green Drapery)

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Henri Émile Matisse

French, 1869 - 1954

Petite Odalisque, draperie verte (Concubine, Green Drapery), 1921

  • On View

Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 9 1/2 × 15 1/4 in. (24.1 × 38.7 cm)

Gift of Mrs. William B. Heaton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Donald E. Johnson, Sr., 2006.62

Henri Émile Matisse is one of the most distinguished twentieth-century artists. He is historically important as the leader of Fauvism, which was the first avant-garde movement of early modern art. Making its public debut in 1905 at the Salon d’Automne in Paris, the term fauve (French for “wild beast”) originated as a scornful description of the exhibited works. Traditionalists were very disturbed by the Fauve’s use of intense color, extreme distortion, and bold brushwork.In the 1920s, Matisse painted a series of canvases depicting reclining models, which included Petite odalisque, draperie verte. His identification of these women as odalisques (slaves or concubines in a harem), reflects the influence of Near Eastern arts, as well as his visits to North Africa. It follows the nineteenth-century French tradition in which Oriental subjects were popularized.

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