The Lehman painting belongs to a small series of works in which Matisse depicts Henriette Darricarrère in a frontal pose, almost as if he were executing a formal portrait. In each case, she appears before a different fabric background and is outfitted in various costumes and accessories with ethnic associations; often, as here, she is dressed as a Spanish woman. A preparatory charcoal drawing by Matisse of the same size as the painting is in the Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée National de l'Art Moderne, Paris.
Signature: Signed (in black pencil or with thin brush and black paint) at lower right: Henri Matisse
Acquired (as Femme en buste dans les fleurs) from the artist by Josse Bernheim-Jeune and his brother Gaston Bernheim-Jeune, Fontainebleau and Paris, March 30, 1923; Gaston Bernheim de Villers (Gaston Bernheim-Jeune), 1937; acquired (as L'Espagnole) from Sam Salz, New York, by Robert Lehman, Port Washington, New York, November 1948.