This was one of the most pivotal works of Matisse’s career, although it allegedly started with an accident. Matisse was working on a sculpture, Reclining Nude I when he became so engrossed in sculpting that he knocked it off the table. Before repairing the sculpture he began painting the broken figure against a ‘background of palm fronds.’ This senendipodus event would be immortalized in the Blue Nude. The disjointed limbs, outlined in black slashes, refer back to the shattered sculpture where the figure originated.
Original Medium: oil on canvas
Original Size: 36 1/4 x 55 1/4 in
Location: Baltimore Museum of Art