Seated Nude

Henri Matisse French

Not on view

This drawing is one of three by Matisse donated to The Met in 1910 by Florence Blumenthal, wife of Museum Trustee and future Museum president George Blumenthal. Purchased from Matisse’s second show at "291" for twenty dollars apiece, they were offered to The Met and became the institution’s first works by the artist (see also 10.76.1 and 10.76.3). They were, in fact, also the first works by the artist to enter any American museum. As the Blumenthals were major collectors of medieval and Renaissance art, their purchase of these modernist works—apparently, the only ones they ever made— suggests the behind-the-scenes prompting of some influential art figures: Bernard Berenson, the Renaissance art scholar and defender of Matisse’s work; Alfred Stieglitz, who later used the same tactic to introduce photography into The Met’s collection; and Eugene Meyer (brother of Florence Blumenthal), who with his wife, Agnes, were major patrons and supporters of Stieglitz and his gallery.

Seated Nude, Henri Matisse (French, Le Cateau-Cambrésis 1869–1954 Nice), Graphite on paper

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