Henri Matisse

Gourds

Issy-les-Moulineaux, 1915-16 (dated on painting 1916)

Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
25 5/8 x 31 7/8" (65.1 x 80.9 cm)
Credit
Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund
Object number
109.1935
Copyright
© 2016 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Department
Painting and Sculpture
This work is not on view.
Henri Matisse has 313 works online.
There are 2,308 paintings online.

Describing Gourds in 1945, Matisse recalled that he had created "a composition of objects that do not touch—but nonetheless participate in the same intimacy." Its surface reveals that he achieved this effect after repeatedly adjusting and transposing forms. The austerity and monumentality of the canvas are complementary to The Moroccans, also of 1916. These qualities may have helped Matisse develop the luminous aspects of the larger canvas. In Gourds, he explained, he began "to use pure black as a color of light and not as a color of darkness."

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.
1916 - February 22, 1917, Henri Matisse, Paris.
February 22, 1917 - March 17, 1917, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, purchased from the artist.
March 17, 1917 - ?, Léonce Rosenberg, Paris, purchased from Bernheim-Jeune.
1926 - 1931, Paul Guillaume, Paris.
By 1931 - 1935, Léonide Massine, New York.
1935, Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., New York, purchased from Léonide Massine through Marie Harriman Gallery, New York.
1935 - September 1947, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, acquired as gift from Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
September 1947 - October 1952, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, acquired from The Museum of Modern Art.
October 1952, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, repurchased from the Metropolitan Museum.

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
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New York, NY 10019

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