About this artwork
Henri Matisse often turned to sculpture early in his career in an attempt “to put order into my feelings and find a style to suit me.” More than half of his total output of sculpture dates to between 1900 and 1909, and these works reveal a deep interest in the human figure, as well as ancient and Old Master works of art. The Serf, one of Matisse’s earliest sculptures, consumed him: he was reported to have spent up to 500 sessions with his model, Bevilaqua, who also posed for Auguste Rodin. The Art Institute’s work is an early cast (1908) of a total edition of 10 and was once owned by Matisse’s most enthusiastic early supporters, Michael and Sarah Stein.
- Henri Matisse
- The Serf
- Signed on base, l. rear: "Henri Matisse 1/10"
- 91.5 × 30.5 × 34.3 cm (36 × 12 × 13 1/2 in.)
- Edward E. Ayer Endowment in memory of Charles L. Hutchinson
- © 2018 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York