A large pink horse is clearly visible on a blue central background. Matisse’s nurse, Lydia Delectorskaya, noted the artist's own description: “the equestrienne is evoked by her (black and white) skirt which hangs down over the horse’s back; the clown by his green, black and yellow costume; the yellow lash is that of the ringmaster’s whip. Maquette for Plate V from the illustrated book, Jazz.
Horse, Rider and Clown
Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs
42.5 x 65.6 cm
Gouache on paper, cut and pasted, mounted on canvas
Date of work
A French painter, draughtsman, sculptor, printmaker, designer and writer, Henri Matisse came to art comparatively late and made his reputation as the principal protagonist of Fauvism. He went on to develop a monumental decorative art, innovative both in its treatment of the human figure and in the role accorded to colour. His long career culminated in a highly original series of works made of paper cut-outs or gouaches découpées, which confirmed his reputation, with Picasso, as one of the major artists of the 20th century.