Matisse and His Muses

  • Jul 26, 2014 – Oct 26, 2014
  • Gallery 6
Henri Matisse, "Untitled, (Danseuse endormie, au divan) [Dancer asleep on
divan]", 1927, lithograph on paper, 10 7/8 x 18 in. Bequest of Etta and
Claribel Cone, 1949.

This installation of prints by Henri Matisse, all part of the Etta and Dr. Claribel Cone Collection, will focus on two aspects of the artist's favorite subject: the female form. The first group consists of seated women in interior scenes, many of them in quiet, pensive moods. The second group—depicting odalisques, or reclining nudes—is based on a long tradition in art to which Matisse added his own touch. 

Matisse was at his height as a graphic artist when he created these prints. Although he made prints in spurts—in 1906, 1914, and again from 1922-29—his ventures into this medium were not tangential to his art, but rather an integral part of it. By exploring the figure through printmaking, he was able to glean a better understanding of its form. Posed informally and naturalistically, the women convey the immediacy of sketches done with little study. This mistaken perception results from Matisse’s talent for simplifying form to its essential elements. His mastery of line and his love of pattern are clearly evident in the prints—as is his preference for certain models. 

This exhibition is organized by Elaine D. Gustafson, Curator of Collections.

Related program

Noon @ the 'Spoon public tour • Tue Oct 14 @ 12pm

Happy 150th Birthday Claribel Cone • Fri Nov 14 @ 2pm

This exhibition is a partner program included in the 2014 17 DAYS Greensboro Festival sponsored by ArtsGreensboro. 17 DAYS 2014 happens from September 19 through October 5, 2014. Expect the best of the best performances and exhibitions including music, dance, theatre, art and more. For festival updates, visit the official website

We have six galleries located on the first and second levels of the museum, view our gallery map.