oil on panel
13¾ x 10 7/16 in
34.9 x 26.5 cm
T. Catesby Jones Collection
The leader of the lively and innovative Fauve group, Matisse defined the cutting edge in art. The 1913 Armory Show, which helped pave the way for modern art in the United States, featured a generous selection of his works. Extolled for their originality by some critics and reviled for their extremism by others, they created quite a stir.
In 1917 and 1918 Matisse produced a series of nearly fifty paintings of an Italian artist’s model that mark his shift from a relatively severe and abstract manner to a more naturalistic mode, which would dominate his work in the 1920s. Here the face of Lorette overwhelms the visual field; its tones and colors are the same as those of the minimally painted background. Her expression is impassive, but her direct gaze helps to create a connection with the viewer