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A young woman looks straight out at us. She is seated on a green armchair set in front of a patterned fabric screen. She has a challenging expression. This is not a traditional portrait where the artist tries to capture the sitter's face. Instead Matisse wanted to convey a mood, suggest something sensual. Matisse deliberately plays with pattern and decoration – the large organic curves of the background fabric, her bolero top and striped scarf, her narrowed eyes, pursed lips, the curls of her chestnut brown hair, and her veiled breasts.
oil on canvas
H 40.8 x W 32.7 cm
gift from William McInnes, 1940