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Woman in Oriental Dress

© Succession H. Matisse/ DACS 2024. Image credit: Glasgow Life Museums

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A young woman looks straight out at us. She is seated on a green armchair set in front of a patterned fabric screen. She has a challenging expression. This is not a traditional portrait where the artist tries to capture the sitter's face. Instead Matisse wanted to convey a mood, suggest something sensual. Matisse deliberately plays with pattern and decoration – the large organic curves of the background fabric, her bolero top and striped scarf, her narrowed eyes, pursed lips, the curls of her chestnut brown hair, and her veiled breasts. After visiting Morocco in 1912–1913 Matisse was fascinated by Near-Eastern culture. His professional model, the 18 year-old Antoinette Arnoux, inspired in him an oriental fantasy.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Title

Woman in Oriental Dress

Date

1919

Medium

oil on canvas

Measurements

H 40.8 x W 32.7 cm

Accession number

2197

Acquisition method

gift from William McInnes, 1940

Work type

Painting

Inscription description

signed/dated

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Normally on display at

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Argyle Street, Glasgow G3 8AG Scotland

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