ORIGINALLY POSTED ON The Genealogy of Style.

Drawings, and Sketches by Henri Matisse

Drawings, and Sketches by Henri Matisse

One may well ask, as Henri Matisse was best known for his models being clad in Moroccan or Parisian attire, rather then in Romanian ethnic dress or better still, not clad at all… So, why a Romanian Blouse, out of the blue?

Looking at some of Matisses’s earlier works one could discern the idea in the blouse of the 1939 dancer “Une danseuse au repos”, showing a seated woman wearing a Romanian blouse. Likewise, another of Matisse’s paintings, “Still Life with sleeping woman” , now in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC . The sitter is a woman wearing an embroidered long-sleeve blouse, decorated on the upper part of the sleeve similarly to the Romanian blouses. An even earlier version, with prevailing greens appears in 1937. So, from these and other examples, one could suggest unequivocally, that the idea was not new in the artist’s mind. However, what was new on this occasion, in 1940, was that the Romanian Blouse  had become central to the subject, forcing it on ‘front stage’ and giving it a specific, named identity. The canvas must have been discussed, if not prompted by the visit of an old friend the Romanian painter Theodor Pallady (1871-1956), whose portrait was…

Source: A Glimmer of Optimism | The Genealogy of Style.

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