34.4 x 26.7cm image; 46.3 x 29.2cm sheet (irreg.)
At one time Matisse was regarded as being as radical as Picasso. During the period in which he made this and other memorable prints, he was the acknowledged, if reluctant, leader of the fauvist movement. Rather than an organised school, fauvism represented a propensity in art that took late impressionist and post-impressionist pictoriality towards something rawer and more expressive. Historically, fauvism is a bridge to expressionism. Brutal reductions of form as much as brilliance of colour characterised the style. This black-on-white woodcut is thus a wholly fauvist work. Despite the simplicity of the composition, Matisse convinces the viewer of two things: first, that this is a record of a real and fully-rounded human presence studied from life; and, conversely, that it is no more than a terse and primitivistic arrangement of lines deployed across a surface. The tension between these extremes, and the fact of their simultaneous functioning, contributes to the almost fetishistic status of the work.
Art Gallery Handbook, 1999.
Terence Maloon (Australia) (Author), Paths to Abstraction 1867-1917, Sydney, 2010, 153 (illus.).
'European works on paper' by Peter Raissis' pg.56, Look: 1953-2003 celebrating 50 years May 2003, May 2003, 56 (illus.).
'Building the Collection' by Judith Wright, pg. 6-7., Look Apr 1999, Apr 1999, 6 (colour illus.).
Bruce James (Australia) (Author), Edmund Capon (England; Australia, b.1940) (Director), Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, Domain, 1999, 87 (illus.).
Caroline Turner (Australia) (Editor), Roger Benjamin (Australia, b.1957) (Editor), Matisse, Brisbane, 1995, 185 [illus.]. cat.no. 35, as 'Petit bois clair'
Renée Free (Australia) (Author), Fin de Siècle, Sydney, Jan 1994. no catalogue numbers
Renée Free (Australia) (Author), Modernism 1900-1950 - Prints and Drawings from the Collection, Sydney, 1994. no catalogue numbers
Annabel Davie (Editor), Art Gallery of New South Wales Handbook, Domain, 1988, 120 (illus.).
Fin de Siècle: posters prints drawings from the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 15 Jan 1994–13 Mar 1994.
Modernism 1900-1950 - Prints and Drawings from the Collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 23 Jul 1994–25 Sep 1994.
Matisse, Queensland Art Gallery, 29 Mar 1995–16 May 1995.
Matisse, National Gallery of Australia, 27 May 1995–09 Jul 1995.
Matisse, National Gallery of Victoria [St Kilda Road], 20 Jul 1995–03 Sep 1995.
Matisse: The art of drawing, Newcastle Region Art Gallery, 14 Apr 2000–11 Jun 2000.
Matisse: The art of drawing, Cairns Regional Gallery, 23 Jun 2000–06 Aug 2000.
Matisse: The art of drawing, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, 18 Aug 2000–01 Oct 2000.
Matisse: The art of drawing, Art Gallery of South Australia, 20 Oct 2000–10 Dec 2000.
Matisse: The art of drawing, Bendigo Art Gallery, 03 Feb 2001–18 Mar 2001.
Paths to Abstraction 1867 to 1917, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 26 Jun 2010–19 Sep 2010.