Reclining Odalisque

c. 1923
(French, 1869–1954)
Support: Cream(1) wove paper, slightly discolored
Sheet: 28.2 x 38.5 cm (11 1/8 x 15 3/16 in.)
© Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Location: not on view
This artwork is known to be under copyright.

Download, Print and Share

Did You Know?

Henri Matisse was inspired to take up the subject of odalisques after visiting Morocco about a decade before this drawing was made.


During the 1920s, Matisse used various media to represent odalisques -- female slaves or concubines in the harem of a Turkish sultan. Rather than aiming for a realistic representation of these women, however, Matisse used obviously European models, costumed and arranged with Eastern props in his studio. This drawing depicts his favorite sitter during this period, a French woman named Henriette Darricarrère, who appears in culottes with her arms raised behind her head. Matisse made marks with pencil that he then changed and strengthened as he worked, carefully but quickly constructing the figure with soft, rounded forms. He smeared the graphite in places to model and shade with a variety of tones.
Reclining Odalisque

Reclining Odalisque

c. 1923

Henri Matisse

(French, 1869–1954)
France, 20th century

Visually Similar Artworks

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.