Seated Odalisque, Left Knee Bent, Ornamental Background and Checkerboard

The relaxed demeanor of the Odalisque is captured in Matisse’s typical simplicity of form. An Odalisque is a woman who resides in a harem and was a popular trope in French art. The woman’s face is captured in a few swift strokes, but her energy is contained in the uptilt of the smile and the writing flow of her drapery. Patterns and textures fill the room with color, the curved forms of the back wall seem to mimic the curved figure of the woman, while the pink and red grid echoes the checkerboard placed at the woman’s feet. Matisse would have become familiar with these pattern in his travels to Morocco in 1912-13.

Original Medium: oil on canvas

Original Size: 21 5/8 x 14 7/8 in.

Date: 1928

Location: Baltimore Museum of Art

Matisse in the News

New York Times Article - ‘Graphic Passion: Matisse & the Book Arts’ at the Morgan Library

In Paris during 1946, Henri Matisse made a series of portrait drawings of a notoriously splenetic theater critic named Paul Léautaud. One of the images was to be made into a lithograph for the frontispiece in a book of Léautaud’s writings.... READ THE NY TIMES ARTICLE

Matisse Junkies, Rejoice! A Survey of Grand Works and Studio Relics Captivates in Boston

It’s a great time to be a Matisse junkie. All sorts of exhibitions devoted to the beloved French modernist are being mounted these days. During the past few months along the Eastern seaboard alone, many of the artist’s masterpieces were on view in ... READ THE ARTNEWS ARTICLE 

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