Henri Matisse

View of Notre Dame

Paris, quai Saint-Michel, spring 1914

Oil on canvas
58 x 37 1/8" (147.3 x 94.3 cm)
Acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest, and the Henry Ittleson, A. Conger Goodyear, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Sinclair Funds, and the Anna Erickson Levene Bequest given in memory of her husband, Dr. Phoebus Aaron Theodor Levene
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 2,309 paintings online.

Matisse made several views of Notre Dame cathedral from his quai Saint-Michel studio in 1914. In February his friend Marcel Sembat wrote about two views the artist had completed, one "very beautiful", the other "lopsided", which "no one would understand immediately" but he preferred. Matisse reworked features of this canvas before covering almost the entire surface in blue. He left early compositional elements visible beneath the paint, accentuating the temporal quality of building a work of art over time.

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

This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.
The artist, 1914 - 1954
Artist's estate, 1954 - 1958
Pierre Matisse, New York. 1958 - 1975
E. V. Thaw & Co., New York (acting as agent for Matisse family). 1975
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchased from Thaw, 1975

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