Henri Matisse. The Back (IV). Nice, place Charles-Félix, c. 1931
Henri Matisse

The Back (IV)

Nice, place Charles-Félix, c. 1931
On view
Medium
Bronze
Dimensions
6' 2" x 44 1/4" x 6" (188 x 112.4 x 15.2 cm)
Credit
Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund
Object number
6.1952
Copyright
© 2015 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Department
Painting and Sculpture

At the end of 1917 Matisse settled in Nice, where he spent most of each year for the remainder of his long life. In the decades that followed he did not forget his period of extreme experimentation. Around 1931 Matisse returned to Back. The final state, made from a cast of Back (III), is a starkly refined, highly architectural monolith in which the struggles of the earlier states have been smoothed away. Matisse kept a plaster version of Back (IV) in his studio for the rest of his life, and it is visible in photographs with his late, monumental paper cutouts (below), which—like his works of 1913–17—combine pictorial and sculptural characteristics. All four Backs were unique plaster bas-reliefs until 1950, when Back (I), (III), and (IV) were cast in bronze; Back (II) was not discovered until 1955, a year after the artist’s death, and it was cast a year later.

Gallery label from Matisse: Radical Invention, 1913-1917, July 18–October 11, 2010

Provenance Research Project
This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.
Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchased from Pierre Matisse, 1952

If you have any questions or information to provide about the listed works, please e-mail provenance@moma.org or write to:

Provenance Research Project
The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019

Pictured above: Vasily Kandinsky. Panel for Edwin R. Campbell No. 2 (detail). 1914. Oil on canvas, 64 1/8 x 48 3/8" (162.6 x 122.7 cm). Nelson A. Rockefeller Fund (by exchange). © 2009 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

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In order to effectively service requests for images, The Museum of Modern Art entrusts the licensing of images of works of art in its collections to the agencies Scala Archives and Art Resource. As MoMA’s representatives, these agencies supply high-resolution digital image files provided to them directly by the Museum's imaging studios.

All requests to reproduce works of art from MoMA's collection within North America (Canada, U.S., Mexico) should be addressed directly to Art Resource at 536 Broadway, New York, New York 10012. Telephone (212) 505-8700; fax (212) 505-2053; requests@artres.com; artres.com. Requests from all other geographical locations should be addressed directly to Scala Group S.p.A., 62, via Chiantigiana, 50012 Bagno a Ripoli/Firenze, Italy. Telephone 39 055 6233 200; fax 39 055 641124; firenze@scalarchives.com; scalarchives.com.

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Related links:
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