Henri Matisse


Issy-les-Moulineaux, 1915-16 (dated on painting 1916)

Oil on canvas
25 5/8 x 31 7/8" (65.1 x 80.9 cm)
Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund
Object number
© 2016 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Painting and Sculpture
This work is not on view.
Henri Matisse has 313 works online.
There are 2,242 paintings online.

Describing Gourds in 1945, Matisse recalled that he had created "a composition of objects that do not touch—but nonetheless participate in the same intimacy." Its surface reveals that he achieved this effect after repeatedly adjusting and transposing forms. The austerity and monumentality of the canvas are complementary to The Moroccans, also of 1916. These qualities may have helped Matisse develop the luminous aspects of the larger canvas. In Gourds, he explained, he began "to use pure black as a color of light and not as a color of darkness."

Gallery label from Matisse: Radical Invention, 1913-1917, July 18–October 11, 2010

Provenance Research Project
This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.
Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris. February 26 - March 17, 1917
Léonce Rosenberg, Paris. March 17, 1917
Paul Guillaume, Paris. By 1926
Léonide Massine. By 1931 – 1935
Marie Harriman Gallery, New York. Purchased from Massine, on behalf of Mrs. John D. Rockefeller Jr., New York. (March 1935)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, 1935
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. September 1947
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Repurchased with Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund, October 1952

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