Henri Matisse (1869-1954)

Danseuse Debout, Acoudée (Standing Dancer, Leaning), 1927; Lithograph on Japon paper; Signed Henri Matisse and numbered 15/15 in pencil lower right; Published by Galerie D'Art Contemporain de Paris; Catalog Raisonne: Duthuit 482; Size - Image 18 x 11"; Sheet 19 1/2 x 12 3/4", Frame 32 3/4 x 25 1/2"; Framed with a gold wood frame, two acid free linen mats, a gold fillet, and UV Plexiglass.

"What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter - a soothing, calming influence on the mind, rather like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.” – Henri Matisse

Henri-Émile-Benoît Matisse (1869 – 1954) was a French artist who was known for both his use of colour and his original draughtsmanship. He is commonly regarded, along with Pablo Picasso, as one of the twentieth century’s greatest artists who redefined the visual arts of painting and sculpture. Although he was initially labelled a Fauve (wild beast), by the 1920s he was increasingly being hailed as a leader in the classical tradition of French painting. His artistic creation spanned over a half-century, and he is now considered a leading figure in the modern art movement.

Although Matisse is better known as a painter and sculptor, he became an avid print maker starting in 1906. His preferred medium was lithography, which he utilized in the creation of illustrations for books and over 100 original limited edition lithographs. The majority of the lithographs were executed in black and white, thus maintaining the sense of spontaneity and intimacy inherit in his pencil drawings. As with his paintings and sculptures, original lithographs are currently in world renowned permanent collections of major private and public institutions;

including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Tate Modern, and the Guggenheim.

"Danseuse Debout, Acoudée (Standing Dancer, Leaning)," 1927 is a wonderful lithograph with the subject being a beautiful ballet dancer wearing a fitted flower covered bodice and a crinoline tutu that is tied at the waist with flowers and a bow. The artwork is instantly recognized as being from the hand of Matisse, as it is executed in his loose drawing style. One only need to look at the subject's face to see Matisse's great economy of lines, that form a balanced composition. The use of contour and value, in order to convey both a sense of softness and depth, makes the execution of the artwork exceptional. The standing dancer is leaning with her head resting in the palm of her right hand. Her gaze is fixed into the distance, implying a daydream state; and she does not appear to notice that she is being seen by the viewer. Her background is abstracted and washed out, focusing the attention only on the beautiful ballerina. The resulting composition is relaxed and calm, creating a peaceful daydream like escape for both the subject and the viewer. This is a spectacular, large, rare, and early work by Henri Matisse; and a great addition to any art collection!

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