Etude Pour La Vierge “Tête Voilée”

Henri Matisse
Etude Pour La Vierge “Tête Voilée”
lithograph
1950-51

An original hand-signed Henri Matisse lithograph print.

(Study for the Virgin “Veiled Head”)

1950-51

Original lithograph printed in black ink on chine appliqué (China paper mounted on Arches wove paper).

Hand signed in pencil in the margin lower right H. Matisse.

A superb impression of the definitive state, from the edition of 200, numbered in pencil also lower right (there were two additional épreuves d’essai [trial proofs], and 15 épreuves d’artiste [artist’s proofs], for an overall edition of 217). One of the studies Matisse created in connection with his work on the theme of ‘The Virgin –Veiled Headl’ in the Chapel at Vence in 1950-51.

Catalog: Fribourg 534; Duthuit-Matisse 641.

10 13/16 x 7 5/8 inches

Sheet Size: 19 5/8 x 14 5/8 inches

The art of drawing was an absolutely essential element in Matisse’s graphic work. As his daughter wrote: in his printmaking . . . “there was no interest in combinations of technique, or an interesting mixture; there was no interest in seductive effects, or using the flattering qualities of the stone or the greasy chalk. He just drew, with different instruments, just pure drawing . . .” The pure action of creating a line was used either in its simplest form, or in more highly worked contrasts of tone, to create the essence of his subject.

Matisse was always insistent that his pictures should contain nothing which was superfluous to their purpose. “Everything which is not directly useful in a picture is by the same token to be eliminated” he wrote. Nowhere is this more effective than in his drawings and prints. It is this total focus of purpose which makes them works with such a profound impact.