Henri Matisse Bather Cavalière, summer 1909

  • Not on view

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.
Oil on canvas
36 1/2 x 29 1/8" (92.7 x 74 cm)
Gift of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller
Object number
© 2021 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].

Provenance Research Project

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.

Provenance research is a work in progress, and is frequently updated with new information. If you have any questions or information to provide about the listed works, please email [email protected] or write to:

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


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA’s Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].