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Seated Nude

Shiny dark sculpture of nude woman reclining on stone pedestal.
© 2018 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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  • Shiny dark sculpture of nude woman reclining on stone pedestal.


1922–29, cast 1951


Henri Matisse
French, 1869–1954

About this artwork

While Henri Matisse is perhaps best known as a painter, his simultaneous work in other media—drawing, printmaking, and especially sculpting—was rooted in his earliest artistic experiences and training. In fact, more than half of Matisse’s total output of sculpture (over eighty works) dates to between 1900 and 1909. His three-dimensional pieces reveal a deep interest in the human figure, and in particular the female nude, as well as ancient and Old Master works of art.

Although Matisse’s sculptural production declined after World War I, the works he made while living in Nice continue his earlier interests and relate to his new paintings of odalisques. Seated Nude was inspired by Michelangelo’s Night, a copy of which Matisse studied at the École des Arts Décoratifs in Nice. The artist worked on the sculpture for almost a decade and extended his exploration of the figure’s pose in numerous drawings and lithographs, at least three paintings, and another sculpture. Over time he slowly increased the size of the figure, making it one of the largest freestanding sculptures in his oeuvre. With its dynamic, cantilevered pose, sharply faceted limbs, and monumental scale, Seated Nude is a study in contrasts, of repose, vitality, and even tension.


On View, Gallery 394


Modern Art


Henri Matisse


Seated Nude


France (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.





Signed on base: "HM 8"


78.7 × 78.7 × 35.6 cm (31 × 31 × 14 in.)

Credit Line

Ada Turnbull Hertle Fund

Reference Number



© 2018 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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