HENRI MATISSE (French, 1869-1954)
    Cagnes, Paysage au Temps Orageux, 1917
    Oil on artist's board
    12-7/8 x 15-7/8 inches (33 x 40.6 cm)
    Signed lower right: Henri Matisse

    Private collection, France;
    Georges and Lois de Menil (acquired in Paris on March 17, 1981);
    Gift from above to a private collection;
    Sotheby's, New York, Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale, May 9, 2007, lot 179;
    Private collection, San Diego.

    The authenticity of this painting has been confirmed by Marguerite Duthuit-Matisse.

    In mid-December 1917, Henri Matisse relocated from his home and studio in the Parisian suburb of L'Estaque to Nice, initially to recover from a case of chronic bronchitis. Soon after his arrival in the South of France Matisse visited the Villa of Les Collettes in nearby Cagnes-sur-Mer, home of fellow artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir, where he celebrated his birthday on December 31st. Enraptured by the overall climate and scenery of the Proven├žal region, Matisse stayed in the south of France for the remainder of his life.

    Reminiscent of the Impressionists, Cagnes, Paysage au Temps Orageux was painted en plein air. The climate and lighting conditions of the region proved to be an ideal place for Matisse to create his outdoor compositions and he would often leave the constraints of his studio to take advantage of the pleasant weather. Although notably different from some of his other landscapes and interior compositions, Matisse has stayed true to his overall technique. This is most evident in his simple use of forms, bold brushstrokes, and his use of color to express emotion. The black contours of the hills, the white contours around the trees in the distance, as well as in the foreground, are reminiscent of his Fauvist compositions to create flatness rather than the illusion of spatial depth. His expressive nature is most notable in his selection of color. The contrasting gray of the storm, vastly different from the bright green landscape below, conveys to the viewer its powerful nature and projects a sense of drama in this otherwise peaceful setting.

    Condition Report*:

    Condition commensurate with age, no evidence of inpainting under UV inspection.  Ready to hang in gilt wood frame.

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    May, 2009
    7th-8th Thursday-Friday
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