Sleeping Nude Henri Matisse Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Henri Matisse was a talented French painter who we celebrate today as the greatest initiator of the modern art movement. With his great knowledge of colour and draughtsmanship, he brought to life some great pieces such as Sleeping Nude (1916).

The portrait shows a beautiful naked woman sleeping on a floral red sheet or garment. She is lying on her hip with her hands folded on her head and her legs slightly folded. At the top left side, the viewer can see a black item, which is probably her gown or dress. The lady also has black hair on her head, and the other showing on her pubic region. She seems to be very comfortable enjoying her beauty sleep while naked. In the far end, one can see a wall, and this may be her bedroom or studio.

Sleeping Nude is among Henri's most revered work. It was discovered that the artwork was in a studio where Matisse took note of the woman's most stunning features, naked. She is a beautiful naked woman. After Matisse finished the painting, he wrote to Walter Pach and said that the picture made a strong decorative effect. The lady in the picture is Lorette, Henri's friend. She has featured in his other works with the nude theme. When they first met, they began a series of experiments that opened up a great adventure for Henri. During this time, Matisse's career took a turn for almost a decade, where he specialised in nude paints. He was in Paris at the time.

Now, Sleeping Nude attracted lots of comments from different people. Some appreciated the work, while others thought of the artwork as non-ideal. It is artwork and represents how women are created. Most people argued that it showed and appreciated the beauty of women. On the flip side, the idea of positioning the body was sexual and struck an erotic zone for most viewers. Matisse believed in using colours to bring out every brushstroke as well as the fauvism style.

Matisse was influenced by art from different cultures. His artwork stretches to Asian art, North African Art, and Japanese-oriented. He had great mentors such as Pablo Picasso, John Russell and Vincent Van Gogh. In an interview, he said that he dreamt of balanced art, filled purity, and serenity without any depressing or troubling subject or matter. He always wanted art to be for everyone, from the mental worker to the businessman. His main aim was to create something so soothing with a calming influence on the mind. In his words, he wanted it to be like a good armchair that provides the viewer with great relaxation from fatigue.