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The Boudoir

Le boudoir

Several elements of Matisse's room at the Hôtel de la Méditerranée in Nice, where he often stayed between 1918 and 1921, are represented here. They are brought together in a lighter canvas than Le Divan [The Divan] painted the same year, but nevertheless illustrate the same theme of transition from the inside to the outside.
Two female figures can be seen on the left. One of the young women is believed to be Marguerite, the painter's daughter born in 1894 who stayed with him in Nice in 1921, which provides a clue as to the date of the painting. They are not looking towards the viewer, but rather seem to be staring at the other side of the room, which is separated from them by a large window surrounded by large white curtains. On the right-hand side a mirror framed by swan heads stands on top of a dressing table.
The lines of the composition draw the viewer's gaze towards the outside, through the window: the sky and the palm tree.
The pale tones indicate a transition between the Cubism of the 1910s and the new style adopted by the painter in the 1920s. The very pale palette and the technique are similar to a watercolour. The pink tiles, the bouquet of flowers on the dressing table to the right and the yellow tones of a skirt, the armchair and the walls bring a delicate touch of warmth to the pale whites, greys, and blues.

Provenance: Paul Guillaume en 1929; Domenica Walter