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Nude Sitting with Reflection in Mirror

In this contour drawing, Henri Matisse—seen in the mirror’s reflection on the upper right—captures himself engaged in one of his favorite activities, sketching from the nude female model. The model, decoratively adorned in an Orientalizing head scarf, bracelets, and beaded necklace, perches on the striped cushion of a chaise. Although presented within shallow depth of field, the studio space brims with authentic details, including arabesque wallpaper, tropical plant, rug, and octagonal floor tiles. The fluidity and sketchiness of the ink lines and the asymmetry of the composition provide a lively sense of energy to this drawing, while the presence of the artist’s image adds an element of intimacy and entrée into his private artistic realm.

Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art’s collection includes a photograph by Brassaï of Matisse drawing a nude model in his studio from around the same time (Eskenazi Museum of Art 75.42.2).

Henri Matisse
French, 1869–1954
Nude Sitting with Reflection in Mirror
1936
Black ink on paper
Image/sheet: 19 7/8 x 14 15/16 in. (50.5 x 37.9 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Purchased with the assistance of an anonymous gift, 67.76

Large image not available.