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Female Torso

Henri Matisse (French, Le Cateau-Cambrésis 1869–1954 Nice)

1906; cast ca. 1908
Bronze, 2/10
9 1/8 x 4 x 3 in.,(23.2 x 10.2 x 7.6 cm) Weight 5 lbs
Credit Line:
Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949
Accession Number:
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2011 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Description

    Henri Matisse informally named this dynamic bronze of a female torso "La Vie," or "Life." Interestingly, Matisse specialists have often associated this sculpture with his early interest in African art, seeing in the projecting breasts and arched back references to carved female figures from Côte d'Ivoire and Mali. Featured in 1912 at the 291 gallery, in the first exhibition dedicated entirely to Matisse's sculptures, it was purchased by Stieglitz shortly afterward.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Signature: Signed (back of tang): Henri Matisse 2/10

  • Exhibition History

    New York: The Museum of Modern Art, September 16, 1992 - January 12, 1993. Matisse Retrospective.

    Queensland, Australia: Queensland Art Gallery/Art Exhibitions Australia Limited, 29 March-16 May 1995; Canberra, Australia: National Gallery of Australia, 27 May-9 July 1995; Melbourne, Australia: National Gallery of Victoria, 19 July-3 September 1995; ¦Matisse¦, Introduction by Caroline Turner. p. 185, cat. #37 (illus. in color).

    Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Art, January 21-April 29, 2007; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, June 10-September 2, 2007; The Baltimore Museum of Art,
    October 7, 2007-January 13, 2008; Matisse : painter as sculptor. p. 269, checklist
    no. 37.