Standing 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 was explicitly captivated by the naked female body, and you can see this from most of his artwork. One time in an interview, Henri stated that his models, human figures were never just extras in an interior; they were the theme of his work.

He said that he was solely dependent on his models for inspiration when they posed as they pleased. He was at liberty to observe them and draw or sculpt whatever he saw. The Standing Nude (1907) is a beautiful picture of a nude standing figure. Viewers can tell that this is a female from the breasts protruding on her chest. She is well sculptured and can be seen holding a white robe. From the viewers’ perspective, she might have just removed it or wants it back on. The viewer can only see her from a tilt angle as she has her body inclined to the right. Her strong legs seem to step away as her hands dearly hold onto the robe. She faces the viewer, and one can see one of her breasts from an angle.

Further looking at the painting, you can see Matisse’s art style and prowess. The painting is well modelled and has beautiful angular contours and well-calculated squat proportions. Her head seems to be oversize, but this works well with the times the painting was created. He used a blue background for the wall far behind and a brown floor with some dark streaks. Matisse could also have been thinking of modelling it into a sculpture but portrayed it in a picture. His other significant nude art includes Dance (I) in 1909, Large Reclining Nude (The Pink Nude) in 1935, and Blue Nude II (Nu Bleu II) in 1952.

According to art enthusiasts, the painting was one of Henri's beloved nude arts. They could not decipher the meaning or connection. Most of her body parts are exaggerated, and her physical appearance seems curved. Looking deeper, she is a black woman, and this portrays Henri's reverence for African art. Most viewers feel that this was based on a photograph as opposed to a real-life model. The picture does not follow the rules of the academic studio nude.

Initially labelled a Fauve (from Fauvism art), Matisse was a talented draughtsman, printmaker, artist, sculptor, and painter. He and Pablo Picasso are often mentioned as the greatest artists that lived in the 20th century. Today, the drawing sits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is among the three pictures by Matisse that were donated to the museum by Florence Blumenthal, the Museum Trustee’s wife. His work is celebrated in France and all over the world.