©Henri Matisse - Nude. Study 1908

Henri Matisse - Nude. Study 1908
Nude. Study
1908 60x50cm oil/canvas
Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia

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From the State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia:
Nude. Study is an earlier version of the museum's large Nude. Black and Gold. Matisse used the same model as in the Hermitage's Seated Woman and once again the figure is set in a reasonably well-defined interior. But now the artist shows the woman standing, emphasising the static vertical of the canvas. The pose of the naked body and the position of the hands holding the fabric around the thighs recall some ancient, eternal piece of Greek sculpture, an image of Aphrodite. The model's body has lost any living sensibility and is clearly more classical in its proportions than in the Seated Woman. Matisse presented the painting to the Russian artist and collector Ilya Ostroukhov, as is confirmed by the inscription in Matisse's own hand in the left corner of the canvas.