The Blue Nudes are among the most celebrated and iconic works and a striking example of what Matisse himself called 'cutting directly into colour'. The seated figure is facing to the left of the image, leaning slightly backwards with right arm raised.
Blue Nude III
Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs
116.2 x 88.9 cm
Gouache on paper, cut and pasted on white paper
Date of work
Original: Gouache on paper, cut and pasted on white paper 116.2 x 88.9 cm © Estate of H. Matisse 2014. All Rights Reserved, DACS
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.