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Small light woodcut



Henri Matisse


31 Dec 1869 – 03 Nov 1954

  • Details

    Other Titles
    Three-quarter-length nude, with arms raised
    Nu de trois quarts, les bras levés
    Alternative title
    Petit bois clair
    Media category
    Materials used
    woodcut on brown paper
    22/50. From an edition of 50 plus 2 trial proofs
    34.4 x 26.7 cm image; 46.3 x 29.2 cm sheet (irreg.)
    Signature & date

    Signed l.l. image, [incised block] "HM" and l.c. sheet, pencil "Henri - Matisse...". Not dated.

    Purchased with funds provided by the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales 1976
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Succession H Matisse/Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Henri Matisse

    Works in the collection


  • About

    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.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 7 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 9 publications

Other works by Henri Matisse

See all 29 works