Special Installation: Matisse, Picasso, and Les Demoiselles d’Avignon

Jan 23–31, 1993


Pablo Picasso. *Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. Paris, June–July 1907. Oil on canvas, 8ʹ × 7ʹ 8ʺ (243.9 × 233.7 cm). Acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest. © 2016 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The Matisse exhibition has brought to New York certain key masterpieces by Matisse which relate historically and thematically to Picasso’s revolutionary painting Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, of June–July 1907, in The Museum of Modern Art’s own collection. Among these works are Blue Nude: Memory of Biskra (The Baltimore Museum of Art), painted early in 1907, before Picasso began work on the Demoiselles; Bathers with a Turtle (The St. Louis Art Museum), painted early in 1908, after Matisse had seen the Demoiselles, and probably in response to it; and Bathers by a River (The Art Institute of Chicago), completed in 1916, shortly after the Demoiselles had been publicly exhibited for the first time, and surely Matisse’s most ambitious response to Picasso’s painting.

Since it is extremely unlikely that these great paintings by Matisse and Picasso will ever again be in the same building, they (and some other related works) are being shown together in this gallery for a period of eight days. This is a unique opportunity to see together the most radical figure compositions by these two great artists—arguably the most radical such compositions in twentieth-century art.


  • Looking at Matisse and Picasso Paperback, 72 pages
  • Matisse Picasso Exhibition catalogue, Hardcover, 400 pages
  • Matisse Picasso Exhibition catalogue, Paperback, 400 pages
  • Master checklist 2 pages


Installation images

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