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Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954) Vence, 1947

Henri Matisse Sale History

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Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954) Vence, 1947
Item Details
Description
Henri Matisse
(French, 1869-1954)
Vence, 1947
pen and India ink on paper
signed H. Matisse, dated août 47, and inscribed VENCE (lower right)
16 x 20 7/8 inches.

This lot is accompanied by a photo-certificate issued by Wanda de Guebriant and dated Paris, le 20/2/85.

Provenance:
The Artist's Estate
Acquavella Galleries, New York
Sharyn Bey, purchased from the above, c. 1987
Sold: Christie's, London, February 3, 2010, Lot 243
Acquired at the above sale

Literature:
Pierre Schneider, Matisse, New York, 1984, p. 739, illus.

Lot Note:
"I have always tried to hide my own efforts and wished my works to have the lightness and joyousness of a springtime which never lets anyone suspect the labours it has cost (Matisse, quoted in L. Delectorskaya, With apparent ease... Henri Matisse: Paintings from 1935-1939, trans. O. Tourkoff, Paris, 1988, p. 85).

Vence, 1947, with its rhythmic whorls and assured lines, depicts the lush landscape of southern France. The arching branches and stately trees in the composition frame the bell tower of the town's cathedral. Matisse had relocated to Vence in July 1943 to flee the bombardment of Nice, where he had previously spent most of his time. He eventually bought a home in the medieval town. Previous to his move, in 1941 the artist was diagnosed with abdominal cancer and underwent surgery that left him reliant on a wheelchair. Painting and sculpture became physical challenges, so Matisse instead turned to alternative mediums, including drawing. It was at this point that the artist, a notoriously dissatisfied perfectionist, began to appreciate his own works. In 1942, he wrote that, "For a year now I've been making an enormous effort in drawing. I say effort but that's a mistake, because what has occurred is a floraison after fifty years of effort" (Matisse, quoted in Elderfield, The Drawings of Henri Matisse, exh.cat., London & New York, 1985, p. 16).

Drawing had always been an important part of Matisse's oeuvre. In 'Notes of a Painter on his Drawing' of 1939, the artist had written of how line drawing was "the purest and most direct translation" of his emotion because it was a simplified medium (Elderfield, p. 122). The present work shows Matisse as a tireless innovator who sought to capture the world around him with a deliberate economy of means. And, as he had said, the labors involved are deceptively hard to detect. Rather, the landscape has a lyricism and fluidity that speaks of the artist's apparent ease with drawing. Matisse created a visual language perfectly suited to the atmosphere of sensuality and beauty that he sought to communicate.

Condition
Framed: 24 1/8 x 28 3/4 inches.
Buyer's Premium
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Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954) Vence, 1947

Estimate $40,000 - $60,000
Sep 27, 2022
See Sold Price
Starting Price $20,000
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item
0008: Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954) Vence, 1947
Lot Passed4 Bids
Est. $40,000 - $60,000Starting Price $20,000
American & European Art
Sep 27, 2022 11:00 AM EDT
Buyer's Premium 29%
Lot 0008 Details
Description
...
Henri Matisse
(French, 1869-1954)
Vence, 1947
pen and India ink on paper
signed H. Matisse, dated août 47, and inscribed VENCE (lower right)
16 x 20 7/8 inches.

This lot is accompanied by a photo-certificate issued by Wanda de Guebriant and dated Paris, le 20/2/85.

Provenance:
The Artist's Estate
Acquavella Galleries, New York
Sharyn Bey, purchased from the above, c. 1987
Sold: Christie's, London, February 3, 2010, Lot 243
Acquired at the above sale

Literature:
Pierre Schneider, Matisse, New York, 1984, p. 739, illus.

Lot Note:
"I have always tried to hide my own efforts and wished my works to have the lightness and joyousness of a springtime which never lets anyone suspect the labours it has cost (Matisse, quoted in L. Delectorskaya, With apparent ease... Henri Matisse: Paintings from 1935-1939, trans. O. Tourkoff, Paris, 1988, p. 85).

Vence, 1947, with its rhythmic whorls and assured lines, depicts the lush landscape of southern France. The arching branches and stately trees in the composition frame the bell tower of the town's cathedral. Matisse had relocated to Vence in July 1943 to flee the bombardment of Nice, where he had previously spent most of his time. He eventually bought a home in the medieval town. Previous to his move, in 1941 the artist was diagnosed with abdominal cancer and underwent surgery that left him reliant on a wheelchair. Painting and sculpture became physical challenges, so Matisse instead turned to alternative mediums, including drawing. It was at this point that the artist, a notoriously dissatisfied perfectionist, began to appreciate his own works. In 1942, he wrote that, "For a year now I've been making an enormous effort in drawing. I say effort but that's a mistake, because what has occurred is a floraison after fifty years of effort" (Matisse, quoted in Elderfield, The Drawings of Henri Matisse, exh.cat., London & New York, 1985, p. 16).

Drawing had always been an important part of Matisse's oeuvre. In 'Notes of a Painter on his Drawing' of 1939, the artist had written of how line drawing was "the purest and most direct translation" of his emotion because it was a simplified medium (Elderfield, p. 122). The present work shows Matisse as a tireless innovator who sought to capture the world around him with a deliberate economy of means. And, as he had said, the labors involved are deceptively hard to detect. Rather, the landscape has a lyricism and fluidity that speaks of the artist's apparent ease with drawing. Matisse created a visual language perfectly suited to the atmosphere of sensuality and beauty that he sought to communicate.

Condition
...
Framed: 24 1/8 x 28 3/4 inches.
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