From Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena: Matisse hired an Italian model known as Lorette or Laurette to pose for him in late 1916. Over the course of the next year, he painted her almost fifty times: standing, sitting, lying down; clothed, nude, or—as here—somewhere in between. Wrapped in a black lace mantilla, the model’s body is at once revealed and concealed. Her direct but sightless gaze lends the encounter a peculiar erotic charge. The painter’s obsession with Lorette coincided with a transformation in his style, a shift from the abstract approach of his youth to the more concrete and harmonious manner of his maturity. Like many paintings of its model, The Black Shawl perches uneasily between the avant-garde provocations of early Matisse and the sensuous forms of late.
The painting known as La Gommeuse represents a pivotal moment in Picasso’s artistic development in 1901, the year in which he had his first major exhibition at Ambroise Vollard’s gallery in Paris 1901 - art-Picasso.com
Jeanne Samary was one of the most celebrated actresses at the Comédie-Française when she first sat for Renoir in 1877 . Over the next three years, Renoir depicted Samary in no fewer than eight oils and four pastels, more than any other single sitter. - art-Renoir.com