Laurette in a Green Robe, Black Background

Henri Matisse French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 830

Matisse’s practice was grounded in the reuse and repetition of themes. Whether painting a subject in quick succession or over time, he refined ideas and explored variations. This canvas is one of almost fifty made between 1914 and 1917, when the artist worked with an Italian model named Laurette. With her ability to dramatically shift mood and costume, Laurette played an instrumental role in Matisse’s artistic move from wartime, Cubist-inspired canvases to more naturalistic work that would reflect a larger postwar interest in artistic tradition. In this condensed composition, Matisse enveloped Laurette’s form in a warm black, which the artist used as the "color of light and not as a color of darkness."

Laurette in a Green Robe, Black Background, Henri Matisse (French, Le Cateau-Cambrésis 1869–1954 Nice), Oil on canvas

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