Olga Merson

Matisse has preserved the likeness of one of his students, Olga Merson, in this subdued and elegant portrait. This portrait was being painted  two years after the Fauvism movement had dissolved during an experimental stage of Matisse’s career, painted. The muted color palatte and emphasis on shape and texture show an new stage in the artist’s development.  Matisse left his process visible ‘through the placement and rendering of his sitter: the scraping and over-painting of the face, neck, and forearm, and the bold black marks that so severely reaffirm the figure’s placement on the canvas.’  

Original Medium: oil on canvas

Original Size: 39 1/4 x 31 3/4 in.

Date: 1911

Location: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston