Nature morte. 1942. India Ink. Signed and dated lower right. On wove paper by Arches (with watermark). 52.8 x 40.7 cm (20.7 x 16 in), the full sheet.
Tension-filled India ink drawing from the estate of the famous artist photographer André Ostier. We are grateful to Wanda de Guébriant, Archives Matisse, for the kind support in cataloging this lot.
PROVENANCE: Estate André Ostier, photographer. Private collection Southern Germany (inherited).
Our large-size India ink drawing is a document of the fascination for the exotic in the creation of Henri Matisse. The lush bouquet of flowers, exploring formal relations with the dahlia's circular quillings, the coneflower's pointed leaves and the linearity of the twigs, is presented in an Asian vase. The stylistic floral elements of the exotic decor takes the flowerage to another medium. The viewer's eye is also captivated by the obvious ambiguity of the central scene which wakens erotic associations. The provenance is another aspect that makes the sheet so unique: It comes from the possession of the Parisian photographer André Ostier (1906-1994), who became famous with his impressive portraits of the Paris art scene. Besides Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger, Francis Bacon or Simone de Beauvoir, Henri Matisse also was his model on several occasions.