Henri Matisse in POST series by Laurence de Valmy

Henri's Odalisque, 2017, 

Acrylic on canvas, 

40" x 30" (102 x 76 cm)

picasso odalisque_.jpg

Pablo's Odalisque, 2017, 

Acrylic on canvas, 

40" x 30" (102 x 76 cm)

2017 Roy and Picasso 40x30_Fotor.jpg

Roy and Picasso, 2017, 

Acrylic on canvas, 

40" x 30" (102 x 76 cm)

#story.behind.the.art

After Ingres, Delacroix and many others, Matisse embraces the theme of the odalisques, following his trips to North Africa in 1906 and 1912.

He particularly works on the series in Nice on the French Riviera where he settles in 1918. In this post, Matisse shares his recent painting, Small Odalisque in Purple Robe, created in 1937. Picasso, his friendly rival, reacts and declares that “all things considered, there is only Matisse” out there. When the collector Gertrude Stein introduced Matisse to Picasso in 1906, Matisse declared that they were different as the North and the South Pole. Here Stein picks up on this quote to declare that Matisse with his odalisque is the South Pole.

In December 1954, six weeks after the death of his lifelong friend Matisse, Picasso started to paint a series based on Delacroix's The Women of Algiers in their Apartment (Les Femmes d'Alger) and as a tribute to his friend, famous for his images of odalisques. This series is considered among the masterpieces of Picasso. In this post, Picasso shares a detail of the Version O and that "When Matisse died he left his odalisques to (him) as a legacy". Roy Lichtenstein a fan of Picasso adds his comment as well as the art historian and collector Douglas Cooper who was among the first to realize that the series marked a return to Picasso's peak form.

In 1963, Roy Lichtenstein was already famous for his paintings inspired by images from comics. He also created artwork inspired from other artists and Picasso, the main hero of Lichtenstein, was among them. This artwork Femme d’Alger is a reinterpretation of Picasso’s Femmes d’Alger of 1955. In this Post, Roy shares that recreating Picasso’s artwork was liberating for him. Ivan Karp, the director of the Leo Castelli Gallery points out the rich series of artwork on the theme of the Odalisques started by Delacroix in 1834.

 

Sources: 

Matisse and Picasso: The Story of Their Rivalry and Friendship, Jack Flam, 2003

R. Penrose, Picasso: His Life and Art, Berkeley, 1985 (3rd ed.), p. 396).

R. Lichtenstein, quoted in G. Mercurio, Lichtenstein: Meditations on Modern art, exh. cat., Milan, 2010, p.137

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Colorful realistic paintings