Graphite on paper
Support: Light weight, cream wove paper
Image: 34.9 x 26.7 cm (13 3/4 x 10 1/2 in.)
© Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Nancy F. and Joseph P. Keithley Collection Gift 2020.140
The setting for this drawing was probably Henri Matisse's own studio in Nice, where he had recreated an "Oriental apartment" as a means of inspiration at this time.
Throughout the 1920s, Henri Matisse repeatedly depicted a female model wearing the pair of striped pantaloons seen in this drawing. The sitter was likely Henriette Darricarrière, a young artist, musician, and performer who lived near his studio and wore her hair in the distinctive bob seen here. In the title of this work, like others from this period, Matisse referred to Darricarrière as an odalisque, suggesting his fascination with Morocco, where he had recently traveled. By setting his subject in a harem, the artist presented an invented and idealized vision of non-Western culture.
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