Modern and Contemporary Art
Two Models Resting
Henri Matisse, French, 1869 - 1954
Oil on canvas© Succession H. Matisse, Paris / Artists Rights Society (RS), New York
18 1/2 x 28 7/8 inches (47 x 73.3 cm)
Currently not on view
1964-107-1Gift of Mrs. Frank Abercrombie Elliott, 1964
LabelIt was while living and working in Nice in the early 1920s that Henri Matisse introduced into his oeuvre the theme of the odalisque that he inherited from Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (French, 1780-1867) and Eugène Delacroix (French, 1798-1863), in which recumbent female models were dressed in brightly colored North African costumes. In this painting, the curvilinear shapes of the languid women's bodies are repeated in the organically patterned wall hangings, while the checkerboard in front of them functions as another decorative prop in a composition filled with brightly colored textiles and fabrics drawn from Matisse's vast personal collection.
Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, purchased from the artist, summer 1937 ; sold to Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, New York, December 20, 1937 ; Gwladys Hopkins Marvel (Mrs. Josiah Marvel Jr.) (1905-1997), Wilmington, DE (the former Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney; later Mrs. Frank Abercrombie Elliott); gift to PMA, 1964.
1. Matisse Gallery stockbook, purchases 1932-1947, stock no. 679 (confirmed by label removed from back of painting, in curatorial file), purchased from Henri Matisse, summer 1937, as "Repos des modèles". The stockbook is in the Pierre Matisse Gallery Archives, Pierpont Morgan Library, New York (Box 171, file 33).
2. Matisse Gallery stockbook, 1931-1942 (Matisse Gallery Archives, Box 171, file 34). According to notes by Henry G. Gardiner, former Curator of Painting and Sculpture, PMA, in curatorial file, Mr. Whitney was the first husband of Gwladys H. Elliott (Mrs. Frank A. Elliott). Her second husband, Josiah Marvel Jr. (1904-1955), was appointed first as U.S. envoy in 1946 and then ambassador to Denmark in 1947, a post he held until May 1949. According to notations added to the photo captions in Henry Clifford's copies of Courthion's and Escholier's monographs on Matisse (PMA library), "Two Models Resting" accompanied the Marvels to the American Embassy in Copenhagen.