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Woman in Oriental Dress

© succession H. Matisse/DACS 2019. Photo credit: Glasgow Museums

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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.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum




oil on canvas


H 40.8 x W 32.7 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

gift from William McInnes, 1940

Work type


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Normally on display at

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Argyle Street, Glasgow G3 8AG Scotland

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