Henri Matisse

(French, 1869 – 1954)

Le Repos du Modèle

Executed in 1922

Signed ‘Henri Matisse’ (lower right), inscribed ‘7/50’ (lower left)

Lithograph Chine Volante Paper

8.1/2 x 11.3/4in. (21 x 30cm.)

From the 1st edition before the reduction of the subject to the left. Duthuit – Garnaud 416.

Galerie des Peintres – gravures (Lugt 1057b) and Frapie (Lugt 2921c).



Henri Émile Benoît Matisse was a French artist, known for both his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor.


Matisse is commonly regarded, along with Pablo Picasso, as one of the artists who best helped to define the revolutionary developments in the visual arts throughout the opening decades of the twentieth century, responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture. Along with Picasso, Matisse helped to define and influence radical contemporary art in the 20th century. Although he was initially labelled a Fauve by the 1920s he was being hailed as an upholder of the classical tradition in French painting. His mastery of the expressive language of colour and drawing, displayed in a body of work spanning over a half-century, won him recognition as a leading figure in modern art.


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. 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 (quite probably depicted here), a young woman skilled in the arts of ballet, piano, violin, and painting who lived near Matisse's studio, where the study for this work was executed, at Place Charles-Félix, Nice.


The model's sculpturesque body, languorously stretching on the couch, exudes sensuality and carnality. The mood of "luxe, calme et volupté" is clearly palpable.