Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Laurette in a Green Robe, Black Background

Artist:
Henri Matisse (French, Le Cateau-Cambrésis 1869–1954 Nice)
Date:
1916
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
28 3/4 x 21 3/8 in. (73 x 54.3 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection, 1998
Accession Number:
1999.363.43
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2017 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Not on view
Between December 1916 and the close of 1917, Matisse painted at least twenty-five pictures of an Italian model named Laurette. She also posed with her sister and a woman named Aïcha for some fifteen additional works by the artist. Sometimes Matisse depicted Laurette wide-awake, as in a series of close-up portraits, and at other times she is shown lounging languorously on a sofa. Sometimes she wears the exotic costume or headdress of an odalisque. This painting, however, is different. Here, Laurette, in floppy slippers, without her usual decorative accessories, and undoubtedly nude under the voluminous green robe, appears to rest between sittings. Since there are no indications of the room or the surrounding space, the curvilinear shape of the plush Second Empire armchair envelops Laurette like a fluffy pink cloud upon which she seems to float like an earthy Madonna. Matisse painted these pictures of Laurette in his fourth-floor studio at 19, Quai Saint-Michel in Paris, which was opposite police headquarters on the Île de la Cité across the Seine. As the artist's son Pierre recalled, Laurette was somewhat unconventional and, during breaks from posing, would go to the open window for some air, oblivious to the fact that she was stark naked; at these times, the windows of the police station were filled with gawking men.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right): H. Matisse 16
the artist (1916–d. 1954; his estate, 1954–57); his son, Pierre Matisse, New York (1957–69; sold on October 24, 1969 to Gelman); Jacques and Natasha Gelman, Mexico City and New York (1969–his d. 1986); Natasha Gelman, Mexico City and New York (1986–d. 1998; her bequest to MMA)

Copenhagen. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. "Henri Matisse. Udstilling af hans Arbejder," September 1924, no. 46 (as "Ung dame i en lænestol") [possibly this picture].

Stockholm. Nationalmuseum. "Henri Matisse. Utställning av hans arbeten," October 1924, no. 46 (as "Ung dame i en lænestol") [possibly this picture].

Oslo. location unknown. "Henri Matisse," November–December 1924, no catalogue [possibly this picture].

Kunsthaus Zürich. "Internationale Kunstausstellung," August–September 1925, no. 296 (as "Femme dormant dans une bergère," lent by a private collection, Paris) [probably this picture].

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Henri-Matisse: Retrospective Exhibition," November 3–December 6, 1931, no. 34 (as "The Green Dress," lent by the artist).

Providence. Rhode Island School of Design. "Henri Matisse," December 14–28, 1931, no. 15 (as "The Green Dress," lent by the artist).

New York. Pierre Matisse Gallery. "Masterpieces of Modern Painting and Sculpture," January 5–30, 1937, no. 11 (as "The Green Dress").

New York. Pierre Matisse Gallery. "Drawings by Henri Matisse, Small Pictures by French Painters," April 15–May 3, 1941, no. 10 (as "The Green Robe").

Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lucerne. "Henri Matisse," July 9–October 22, 1949, no. 48 (as "Laurette sur fond noir," lent by the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris [sic]).

Paris. Maison de la Pensée Française. "Henri Matisse: Chapelle, peinture, dessins, sculptures," July 5–September 24, 1950, no. 43 (as "Laurette sur fond noir").

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Henri Matisse," November 13, 1951–January 13, 1952, no. 46 (as "The Green Robe [Laurette sur fond noir]," lent by the artist).

Cleveland Museum of Art. "Henri Matisse," February 5–March 16, 1952, no. 46.

Art Institute of Chicago. "Henri Matisse," April 1–May 4, 1952, no. 46.

San Francisco Museum of Art. "Henri Matisse," May 22–July 6, 1952, no. 46.

Los Angeles Municipal Art Department. "Henri Matisse," July 24–August 17, 1952, no. 29 (as "The Green Robe [Laurette sur fond noir]," lent by the artist).

Paris. Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées. "Salon d'Automne. Exposition rétrospective d'œuvres de Henri Matisse (1869–1953)," November 5–30, 1955, no. 171 (as "Laurette sur fond noir").

Paris. Musée National d'Art Moderne. "Rétrospective Henri Matisse," July 28–November 18,1956, no. 44 (as "Lorette sur fond noir," lent by a private collection).

Los Angeles. UCLA Art Galleries. "Henri Matisse: Retrospective 1966," January 5–February 27, 1966, no. 43 (as "The Green Robe [Lorette sur fond noir; La robe verte]," lent by Mr. and Mrs. Pierre Matisse).

Art Institute of Chicago. "Henri Matisse: Retrospective 1966," March 11–April 24, 1966, no. 43.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Henri Matisse: Retrospective 1966," May 11–June 26, 1966, no. 43.

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Henri Matisse: 64 Paintings," July 19–September 25, 1966, no. 30 (as "The Green Robe. Lorette sur Fond noir," lent by Mr. and Mrs. Pierre Matisse, New York).

London. Hayward Gallery. "Matisse, 1869–1954: A Retrospective Exhibition," July 3–September 8, 1968, no. 62 (as "The Green Robe [Laurette sur fond noir; La robe verte]," lent by a private collection, New York).

Paris. Grand Palais. "Henri Matisse: Exposition du centenaire," April 21–September 21, 1970, no. 132 (as "Laurette sur fond noir, robe verte [Laurette dans la bergère]," lent by M. et Mme J. Gelman, Mexico).

Copenhagen. Statens Museum for Kunst. "Matisse: En retrospektiv udstilling," October 10–November 29, 1970, no. 40 (as "Laurette sur fond noir, robe verte [Laurette dans la bergère]," lent by Mr. and Mrs. Jacques Gelman, Mexico).

National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "Henri Matisse: The Early Years in Nice, 1916–1930," November 2, 1986–March 29, 1987, no. 8 (as "Lorette sur fond noir, robe verte [Lorette, Black Background, Green Dress]," lent by a private collection).

Venice. Museo Correr. "Henri Matisse: Matisse et l'Italie," May 30–October 18, 1987, no. P29 (as "Laurette in abito verde su fondo nero [Laurette in poltrona; Laurette su fondo nero]," lent by a private collection).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection," December 12, 1989–April 1, 1990, unnumbered cat. (p. 142).

London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection," April 19–July 15, 1990, unnumbered cat.

Mexico City. Centro Cultural Arte Contemporáneo. "La Colección de Pintura Mexicana de Jacques y Natasha Gelman," June 23–October 11, 1992, not in catalogue.

Paris. Centre Georges Pompidou. "Henri Matisse 1904–1917," February 25–June 21, 1993, no. 144 (as "Lorette sur fond noir, robe verte").

Martigny. Fondation Pierre Gianadda. "De Matisse à Picasso: Collection Jacques et Natasha Gelman," June 18–November 1, 1994, unnumbered cat. (p. 166).

London. Tate Modern. "Matisse, Picasso," May 11–August 18, 2002, no. 101 (as "Lorette in a Green Robe against a Black Background [Lorette sur fond noir, robe verte]").

Paris. Galeries nationales du Grand Palais. "Matisse, Picasso," September 25, 2002–January 6, 2003, no. 101.

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Matisse, Picasso," February 13–May 19, 2003, no. 101.

West Palm Beach. Norton Museum of Art. "Matisse in Transition: Around Laurette," January 28–April 16, 2006, no. 9 (as "Laurette in a Green Robe [Black Background]").

Centre Pompidou, Paris, Galerie 2. "Matisse. Paires et séries," March 7–June 18, 2012, unnumbered cat. (p. 112; as "Lorette sur fond noir, robe verte").

Copenhagen. Statens Museum for Kunst. "Matisse—fordobling og variation," July 14–October 28, 2012, no. 35.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Matisse: In Search of True Painting," December 4, 2012–March 17, 2013, no. 35.

A[lfred]. H. B[arr]., Jr. Henri-Matisse: Retrospective Exhibition. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1931, pp. 19–20, 48, no. 34, ill.

Virginia Nirdlinger. "The Matisse Way. Forty Years in the Evolution of an Individualist." Parnassus 3 (November 1931), p. 6.

Roger Fry. Henri-Matisse. New York, 1935, pl. 30, calls it "Figure Under the Trellis (Black Background)".

R. H. Wilenski. Modern French Painters. New York, [1940], p. 259, calls it "La robe verte".

Howard Devree. "A Reviewer's Notebook: Brief Comment on Some of the Recently Opened Exhibitions in Galleries." New York Times (April 20, 1941), p. X10.

Maurice Raynal. Peintres du XXe siècle. Geneva, 1947, colorpl. 11, calls it "Femme au fauteuil".

Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Matisse: His Art and His Public. New York, 1951, p. 191, ill. p. 412, calls it "The Green Robe"; notes that this picture appears in progress in "The Painter in His Studio" (Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris), which must have been executed immediately following ours, in the fall of 1916, in Paris.

Gaston Diehl with notices by Agnès Humbert. Henri Matisse. Paris, 1958, p. 54, calls it "The Green Robe".

Jacques Lassaigne. Matisse. Lausanne, 1959, p. 77, calls it "Green Robe" and locates it in a private collection, Paris.

Raymond Escholier with introduction and notes on illustrations by R. H. Wilenski. Matisse: A Portrait of the Artist and the Man. New York, 1960, p. 152 [French ed., 1956, p. 181], calls it "Lorette au fauteuil".

Jean Selz. Matisse. New York, [1964], ill. p. 40 (color), calls it "Lorette with Black Background" and locates it with the artist's family.

Jean Guichard-Meili. Matisse. New York, 1967, pl. 77, calls it "Green Dress. Lorette with a Black Background" and erroneously locates it in the Musée d'Art Moderne, Paris.

Frederick Brill. Matisse. London, 1967, p. 36, colorpl. 20, calls it "The Green Robe; Lorette with a Black Background" and locates it in a private collection, New York.

Pierre Schneider with Tamara Préaud, ed. Henri Matisse: Exposition du centenaire. Exh. cat., Grand Palais. Paris, 1970, p. 82, no. 132, ill. p. 202, erroneously state that this work was exhibited at the Portland Art Museum in 1952.

Denys Sutton. "The Mozart of Painting." Apollo 92 (November 1970), ill. p. 359 (color).

Massimo Carrà. L'opera di Matisse dall rivolta 'fauve' all'intimismo, 1904–1928. Milan, 1971, pp. 94–95, no. 218, ill. and colorpl. XXXV.

[Louis] Aragon. Henri Matisse: A Novel. [French ed., 1971]. New York, 1972, vol. 2, pp. 98, 360, colorpl. XV, calls it "The Green Robe"; lists alternate titles "Laurette sur fond noir," "La Robe verte," and "Laurette, robe verte sur fond noir".

Sandra Orienti. Matisse. London, 1972, p. 35, calls it "Woman in an Armchair, Lorette in a Green Dress".

Jack D. Flam. The Norton Matisses: The Rose, Lorette, Two Rays. [West Palm Beach], 1973, unpaginated, calls it "Lorette with Black Background".

Jean Laude. "Les 'ateliers' de Matisse." Colóquio. Artes no. 18 (June 1974), pp. 19–20, 24, calls it "Lorette en habit vert sur fond noir" and "Laurette sur fond noir, robe verte".

Douglas Mannering. The Art of Matisse. [London], 1982, pp. 53–54, ill. (color), calls it "The Green Robe".

Dominique Fourcade in Bonjour Monsieur Manet. Exh. cat., Musée National d'Art Moderne. Paris, 1983, pp. 28–29, 32 n. 20, ill., calls it "Femme dans un fauteuil Lorette sur fond noir" in the text and "La Robe verte; Lorette sur fond noir" in the caption.

Nicholas Watkins. Matisse. Oxford, 1984, pp. 138, 141, colorpl. 123, calls it "The Green Robe".

Jack Flam. Matisse: The Man and His Art, 1869–1918. Ithaca, 1986, pp. 441, 505 n. 9, fig. 450 (color), calls it "The Green Robe".

Jack Cowart and Dominique Fourcade. Henri Matisse: The Early Years in Nice, 1916–1930. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. Washington, 1986, p. 278, no. 8, ill. and colorpl. 5, date it 1916–17; note that "Laurette Seated, Pink Armchair" (1917; Dr. and Mrs. Hahnloser, Fribourg) depicts Laurette in the same green robe and armchair but in a different pose.

Dominique Fourcade. "Crise du cadre." Cahiers du Musée national d'art moderne no. 17/18 (1986), pp. 74–76, figs. 6, 7 (installation photos, Exh. Copenhagen 1970), 8, calls it "Laurette sur fond noir, robe verte".

Jean-Claude Lebensztejn. "Constat amiable." Cahiers du Musée national d'art moderne no. 17/18 (1986), pp. 84, 90–91, calls it "Laurette sur fond noir".

Bernard Noël. Matisse. 2nd rev. ed. (1st ed., 1983). Paris, 1987, p. 45, calls it "Lorette sur fond noir".

Lawrence Gowing in Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Ed. William S. Lieberman. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, p. 20.

Pierre Schneider in Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Ed. William S. Lieberman. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, pp. 29–30 n. 2.

Sabine Rewald in Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Ed. William S. Lieberman. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, pp. 142–44, 305, ill. (color and bw).

William S. Lieberman in Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Ed. William S. Lieberman. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, p. 2.

Isabelle Monod-Fontaine in Matisse: Œuvres de Henri Matisse (1869–1954). Paris, 1989, p. 50, fig. a, under no. 12, calls it "Laurette sur fond noir, robe verte".

John Elderfield. Henri Matisse: A Retrospective. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1992, p. 274, no. 203, ill. (color), calls it "Lorette in a Green Robe Against a Black Background (Lorette sur fond noir, robe verte)" and dates it autumn–winter 1916.

Dominique Fourcade and Isabelle Monod-Fontaine. Henri Matisse 1904–1917. Exh. cat., Centre Georges Pompidou. Paris, 1993, pp. 402–3, 513, no. 144, ill. (color and bw), date it end 1916–beginning 1917.

Sophie Monneret. Matisse. Paris, 1994, p. 102, no. 259, ill., calls it "Lorette sur fond noir, robe verte" and dates it 1916–17.

Isabelle Monod-Fontaine in Matisse. Ed. Caroline Turner and Roger Benjamin. Exh. cat., Queensland Art Gallery. Brisbane, 1995, pp. 92–93, calls it "Lorette in a Green Robe Against a Black Background".

Rémi Labrusse in Matisse: "La révélation m'est venue de l'Orient". Exh. cat., Musei Capitolini, Rome. Florence, 1997, p. 188, ill. (color), calls it "Lorette su fondo nero con abito verde".

Isabelle Monod-Fontaine in Le Maroc de Matisse. Exh. cat., Institut du Monde Arabe. [Paris], 1999, p. 113, ill. p. 20 (color), calls it "Lorette sur fond noir, robe verte"; dates it 1916–17 and erroneously states that it was painted in Nice.

Sabine Rewald in "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection 1999–2000." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 58 (Fall 2000), pp. 54–55, ill. (color).

Margaret Werth. The Joy of Life: The Idyllic in French Art, circa 1900. Berkeley, 2002, p. 301 n. 18, calls it "Lorette au fond noir, robe verte (Lorette in a Green Robe against a Black Background)".

Pierre Schneider. Matisse. Rev. ed. (English ed., 1984). Paris, 2002, p. 437, ill. p. 428, calls it "Laurette sur fond noir, robe verte" and dates it winter 1916–17.

Isabelle Monod-Fontaine in Matisse, Picasso. Exh. cat., Tate Modern. London, 2002, pp. 190–94, no. 101, ill. (color), dates it between late November 1916 and the following spring, simultaneously with "The Painter in his Studio" (Musée National d'Art Moderne); states that this was one of the paintings which Matisse's children brought to Nice from Paris for safekeeping during the war and that Renoir saw it on May 4, 1918.

Françoise Gilot. "Événement: Matisse/Picasso." Beaux Arts no. 220 (September 2002), p. 56, ill. (color).

Chika Amano in Henri Matisse: Processus / Variation. Exh. cat., National Museum of Western Art. Tokyo, 2004, p. 17, ill. p. 37, fig. 8, calls it "Lorette sur fond noir, robe verte".

Isabelle Monod-Fontaine in Henri Matisse: Processus / Variation. Exh. cat., National Museum of Western Art. Tokyo, 2004, p. 28.

Hilary Spurling. Matisse the Master. A Life of Henri Matisse: The Conquest of Color, 1909–1954. New York, 2005, p. 222, calls it "Lorette in a Green Robe on a Black Background"; states that while in Nice, Matisse sent for this painting from Paris in order to show it to Renoir.

Isabelle Monod-Fontaine. "A Question of Windows: Interior with a Violin." Matisse: Masterpieces at Statens Museum for Kunst. Copenhagen, 2005, pp. 187, 193, 204 n. 9, calls it "Lorette in a Green Robe against a Black Background".

Jack Flam. Matisse in Transition: Around Laurette. Exh. cat., Norton Museum of Art. West Palm Beach, 2006, pp. 17–18, 27, no. 9, ill. p. 42 (color), dates it 1916–17; notes that Matisse painted Laurette almost fifty times, and comments that this picture "seems less a painting of a hired model than of someone who is loved"; discusses other paintings of Laurette wearing the green robe, including three which also include the pink armchair: "Seated Laurette, Pink Armchair" (1917; Hahnloser collection, Fribourg), "The Green Gandoura Robe" (1917; private collection), and "Woman in an Armchair" (1917; Brooklyn Museum of Art).

John Elderfield in Stephanie D'Alessandro and John Elderfield. Matisse: Radical Invention 1913–1917. Exh. cat., Art Institute of Chicago. Chicago, 2010, pp. 313–14, fig. 4 (color), calls it "Laurette in a Green Robe".

Shirley Neilsen Blum. Henri Matisse: Rooms with a View. New York, 2010, p. 88, calls it "The Green Robe".

Michele Santulli. Modelle e Modelli Ciociari nell'Arte Europea a Roma, Parigi, Londra nel 1800–1900. Arpino, [2011], p. 133, calls it "Laurette in a Green Robe (Black Background); suggests that Laurette was Laureta or Loreta Arpino, whose sister, Rosa, also modelled for Matisse.

Dorthe Aagesen and Rebecca Rabinow in Matisse: In Search of True Painting. Ed. Dorthe Aagesen and Rebecca Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2012, p. 8.

Christel Hollevoet-Force and Mary Chan in Matisse: In Search of True Painting. Ed. Dorthe Aagesen and Rebecca Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2012, pp. 212–13.

Hilary Spurling in Matisse: In Search of True Painting. Ed. Dorthe Aagesen and Rebecca Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2012, p. 106 , no. 35, ill. p. 102 (color).

Elsa Urtizverea in Matisse. Paires et séries. Exh. cat., Centre Pompidou. Paris, 2012, p. 274.

Rémi Labrusse in Matisse. Paires et séries. Exh. cat., Centre Pompidou. Paris, 2012, pp. 111–12, 114–17, ill. (color), dates it at the end of 1916.

Roberta Smith. "Evolving Toward Ecstasy." New York Times (November 30, 2012), pp. C23, C26, ill. (color).



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