Henri Matisse

Bather

Cavalière, summer 1909

Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
36 1/2 x 29 1/8" (92.7 x 74 cm)
Credit
Gift of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller
Object number
17.1936
Copyright
© 2017 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Department
Painting and Sculpture
This work is not on view.
Henri Matisse has 314 works online.

In July 1909, summering with his family in the South of France, Matisse prepared for a commission from Russian businessman Sergei Shchukin. Although the eventual result was two decorative panels representing dance and music, the artist’s plan originally included a composition of bathers, to which this canvas relates. As Matisse worked on Bather he made many adjustments in pencil and paint to the form and pose of the figure. He repositioned the bather on the canvas, modeling the body's volumes and adjusting earlier contours with long, repeated brushstrokes.

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

This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.
Paul Guillaume (1891-1934), Paris [1]; acquired by Georges Bénard, Paris; sold through Hôtel Drouot, Paris to Etienne Bignou, Paris/New York, June 9, 1933 [2]; sold to Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (1874-1948), New York, December 1935 [3]; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1936 (Gift of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller).
[1] See Dominique Fourcade, ed., Henri Matisse 1904-1917, exh. cat. Paris : Centre Georges Pompidou, 1993, no. 71.
[2] Tableaux modernes, aquarelles, gouaches, pastels. Collection G.B. [Georges Bénard]. Hôtel Drouot, Paris, June 9, 1933, no. 63. See Gazette de l'Hotel Drouot, June 10, 1933, p. 4: "no. 63, Jeune fille sortant du bain (92-74) (d. 20.000), à M. Bignou 10 100."
[3] Included in the exhibition New Acquisitions: The Collection of Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., January 14-February 16, 1936, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, no. 81.

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