Henri Matisse Interior with a Young Girl (Girl Reading) Paris 1905-06

  • Not on view

Matisse’s daughter Marguerite was often a model for her father’s paintings. In Interior with a Young Girl Reading, she sits quietly, absorbed in a book—depicted with bold marks and vivid, planes of opposing and often complementary colors. The surrounding room and furniture demand as much attention as do the sitter and objects in the foreground. Matisse asserted, “What counts most with colors are relationships.” He selected a palette of bright colors, including many areas of white infused with color, creating an overall decorative effect and a flattened space, albeit one abuzz with tension. To further flatten the scene, he has upturned the table, sloping it forward.

Matisse debuted this radical style of painting at the Salon d’Automne in Paris—an alternative annual exhibition seen by a large audience of patrons and public—the year this painting was made. There an art critic dubbed Matisse and his group the “Fauves” or “wild beasts.”

Oil on canvas
28 5/8 x 23 1/2" (72.7 x 59.7 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David Rockefeller
Object number
© 2024 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

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Provenance Research Project

This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.

Félix Fénéon, Paris (per exhibition Henri Matisse, Kunsthalle Basel, Aug 9 – Sept 15, 1931, cat. no. 18)
Hôtel Drouot, Paris, Auction, Dec 4, 1941, lot 64 (Collection Félix Fénéon)
Galerie Castelucho-Diana, Paris (Purchased at the above sale, per annotated auction catalogue of the Archives Matisse, Paris)
William and Edith Goetz, Los Angeles
Sotheby’s, London Auction, Oct 14, 1970, lot 10 (Sixteen Paintings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs William Goetz of Beverly Hills, California)
David and Peggy Rockefeller, New York.
1991 The Museum of Modern Art, New York (Gift of David and Peggy Rockefeller)

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