All About Matisse

Decorative Figure

1925; Oil on canvas, 51 1/8" x 38 1/2" Musee National d'Art Moderne, Paris

The background of this painting is a series of variations of a decorative theme that never seems to repeat itself. The figure sits in contrast with the ever-varying curves of this backdrop, which contains, almost lost in its density, the mirror seen in his earlier work "The Painter and His Model". The figure and background could not be seen as being in the same space without the cloth coming behind the figure's back and across her leg, this serves at a crucial link. In spite of the abundance of patterns and motifs the composition never seems to clutter, everything just seems to fall into place.

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