Decorative Figure

1908, cast 1950

Henri Matisse, French, b. Le Cateau-Cambrésis, 1869–1954

Bronze, 28 3/8 × 20 1/4 × 12 1/4 in. (72.1 × 51.4 × 31.1 cm)

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1966

Accession Number: 66.3450

Curt Valentin Gallery, New York, by November 1951-12 April 1955
Joseph H. Hirshhorn, New York, 12 April 1955-17 May 1966
Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1966

Exhibition History:
CURT VALENTIN GALLERY, New York. "Sculpture by Painters," 20 November-15 December 1951, no. 49, ill.
SILVERMINE GUILD OF ARTISTS, New Canaan, Connecticut. "Sculpture of the 20th Century," 8-26 July 1956, no. 56.
DETROIT INSTITUTE OF ARTS. Sculpture in Our Time: Collected by Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 5 May-23 August 1959, no. 154, ill. P. 73. TOUR: MILWAUKEE ART CENTER, 10 September-11 October; WALKER ART CENTER, Minneapolis, 25 October-6 December; WILLIAM ROCKHILL NELSON GALLERY OF ART, Kansas City, Missouri, 20 December-31 January 1960; MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, Houston, 1-27 March; LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF HISTORY, SCIENCE AND ART, 11 April-15 May; M. H. DE YOUNG MEMORIAL MUSEUM, San Francisco, 29 May-10 July; COLORADO SPRINGS FINE ARTS CENTER, Colorado, 24 July-4 September; ART GALLERY OF TORONTO, 30 September-31 October.
SOLOMON R. GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM, New York. "Modern Sculpture from the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Collection," 3 October 1962-6 January 1963, no. 291, ill. pp. 78-79.
MARLBOROUGH-GERSON GALLERY, New York. "Artist and Maecenas: A Tribute to Curt Valentin," November-December 1963, no. 31, ill. p. 36.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART. "Inaugural Loan Exhibition," April-July 1965.
ART GALLERIES, University of California, Los Angeles. "Henri Matisse," 5 January-27 February 1966, no. 110, ill. p. 129. TOUR: ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO, 11 March-24 April; MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, Boston, 11 May-26 June.
SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION, Castle, Washington, DC. "One Hundred and Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Institution," 26 September 1971-31 January 1972.
MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, New York. "The Sculpture of Matisse," 22 February-29 May 1972, no. 34, ill. p. 22. TOUR: WALKER ART CENTER, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 20 June-6 August; UNIVERSITY ART MUSEUM, University of California, Berkeley, 26 September-5 November.
HIRSHHORN MUSEUM AND SCULPTURE GARDEN, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. "Inaugural Exhibition," 4 October 1974-15 September 1975, fig. 159, p. 123, p. 720.
MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, New York. "Henri Matisse: A Retrospective," 24 September 1992-19 January 1993, no. 106, ill.
TAIPEI FINE ARTS MUSEUM, Taiwan. "The Human figure Interpreted: Modern Sculpture from the Hirshhorn Museum," 25 March-28 May 1995, ill.
MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, SHIGA, Otsu, Japan. The Human Figure Interpreted: Modern Sculpture from the Hirshhorn Museum, 1 July-6 August 1995, no. 23, ill. TOUR: ODAKYU MUSEUM, Tokyo, 9-27 August; IWAKI CITY ART MUSEUM, 23 September-5 November; TAKAMATSU CITY MUSEUM OF ART, 10 November-10 December.
TATE MODERN, London. "Matisse Picasso" 11 May 2002 - 18 August 2002. TOUR: GRAND PALAIS, Paris, 24 September 2002 - 6 January 2003; MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, New York, 12 February 2003 - 27 May 2003.

Published References:
SELZ, JEAN. Modern Sculpture (New York: Braziller, 1963), colorplate VIII. (Erroneously dated.)
READ, HERBERT. A Concise History of Modern Sculpture (New York: Praeger, 1964), p. 38, ill. 27.
KRAMER, HILTON. "Matisse as a Sculptor," Boston Museum Bulletin 64/336 (1966), pp. 54-55.
READ, HERBERT. "The Sculpture of Matisse," Henri Matisse (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1966), pp. 21-22.
READ, HERBERT. Art and Alienation, the Role of the Artist in Society (New York: Viking, 1967), p. 117, ill. 26.
ARNASON, H. HARVARD. History of Modern Art (New York: Abrams, 1968), p. 114, ill. 178.
CLAPP, JANE. The Sculpture Index, vol. I, (Metuchen, New Jersey: Scarecrow Press, 1970), p. 603.
SCHNEIDER, PIERRE. "Matisse's Sculpture: The Invisible Revolution," Art News 71 (March 1972), p. 24, 69, ill.
DONADIO, EMMIE. "Matisse Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art," Arts 46 (April 1972), p. 63.
ELSEN, ALBERT E. The Sculpture of Henri Matisse (New York: Abrams, 1972), ill. 109.
LEGG, ALICIA. The Sculpture of Matisse (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1972), pp. 20, 23, 25, ill. p. 22.
DAVAL, JEAN-LUC. Le Journal de l'art moderne: 1884-1914 (Geneva: Skira, 1973), ill. p. 206.
DONAHOE, VICTORIA. "Rx for an Instant Museum: Stir 8,000 Works, Just Add Money," Philadelphia Inquirer (January 6, 1974), p. 11, section I, ill.
FORGEY, BENJAMIN. "The New Hirshhorn Museum," Art News 73 (October 1974), ill. p. 41.
KRAMER, HILTON. "A Collection That Puts Museum in the Select Class," New York Times (2 October 1974), p. 49, section C, ill.
LERNER, ABRAM, et al. The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1974), pp. 123, 721, ill. 159.
TUCKER, WILLIAM. "Matisse's Sculpture: The Grasped and The Seen," Art in America 63 (July-August 1975), p. 63, ill.
OPPLER, ELLEN C. Fauvism Reexamined (New York: Garland Press, 1976), pp. 142-43, ill. 65.
REFF, THEODORE. "Matisse: Meditations on a Statuette and Goldfish," Arts 51 (November 1976), p. 115, ill.
ELDERFIELD, JOHN. Matisse in the Collection of the Museum of Modern Art (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1978), p. 189, fig. 41.
FLAM, JACK. In "Primitivism" in 20th Century Art, vol. 1, edited by William Rubin (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1984), p. 226, ill.
FLAM, JACK. Matisse: The Man and His Art: 1869-1918 (Ithaca, N.Y. and London: Cornell University Press, 1986), p. 238, fig. 236.
BENJAMIN, ROGER. "L'arabesque dans la modernité: Henri Matisse sculpteur," de Matisse à aujourdhui (Association des Conservateurs des Musées du Nord-Pas-de-Calais, 1992), ill. 7, p. 19.
BENJAMIN, ROGER. Matisse (New York: Rizzoli, 1992), fig. 2, n.p.
MATHIS, CARLA MASON, and HENLEN VILLA CONNOR. The Triumph of Individual Style (Timeless Editions, 1993), ill. p. 70.
HARTT, FREDERICK. Art: A History of Painting, Sculpture, Architecture 4th ed. (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1994), fig. 35-5, p. 964.
DUTHUIT, CLAUDE. Henri Matisse (Paris: 1997), no. 41, cast 4, ill.
BOIS, YVE-ALAN, JOHN ELDERFILED, and LAURIE A. STEIN. Henri Matisse: Bathers with a Turtle (Saint Louise Art Museum Fall 1998 Bulletin), no. 2.12, ill, p. 34.
SOTHEBY'S, New York. Impressionist & Modern Art (10 May 2001), p. 100, entry on lot 228 refers to ours.

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