Henriette II (Large Head)Enlarge image

Henriette II (Large Head), 1927

Henri Matisse
French, 1869 - 1954
bronze on marble base
32.1 x 22 x 29 cm without base
Purchased 1955
National Gallery of Canada (no. 6428)
© Estate of H. Matisse / SODRAC (2013)

OLD - Henriette Darricarrière was Henri Matisse's favourite model between 1920 and 1927. This is the second in a series of three sculptures that he made of Henriette. While the first of the series (1925) is a quite realistic portrayal of the sitter, this one is more abstract. The symmetrical head is smooth and rounded, the hair is stylized, and the face is without expression. The third version (1929), a character study, is a more angular and severe sculpture which Matisse made working from memory. Though the features of the face are not individualized, the model in "Nude on a Yellow Sofa" is most likely Henriette as well.

Additional Information 

Signed on back: 5/10 HM

Marks and Labels 

Stamped on back: C. Valsuani cire perdue


Galerie Pierre, Paris, France [1]

by 1953/02 – 1955/11/02
Curt Valentin Gallery (Curt Valentin, 1902–1954), New York, USA [21]

1955/11/02 –
National Gallery of Canada, purchased from Curt Valentin Gallery [3]


The main source for this provenance is Claude Duthuit's catalogue raisonné, cat. no. 70 [Duthuit, Claude. "Henri Matisse. Catalogue raisonné de L'oeuvre sculpté établi avec la collaboration de Wanda de Guébriant." Paris 1997]. Exceptions and other supporting documents are noted.

[1] According to Claude Duthuit's catalogue raisonné the bronze was included in the exhibition “Exposition de peintures et de sculptures de Henri Matisse.” Galerie Pierre, Paris, July 1930.

[2] Curt Valentin established his New York art gallery in 1937. In a letter to Henri Matisse, dated September 18, 1948, Curt Valentin notes his intention to purchase five bronzes, among them two “Têtes” and one “Petite Tête”. No dimensions or titles are given. Valentin had already acquired eight bronzes from Matisse and was interested to purchase another twelve [Curt Valentin Papers, III. A. The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York]. Henriette II was in Valentin's possession at the latest by February 1953, when he included it in his exhibition “The Sculpture of Henri Matisse.” [Curt Valentin Gallery, New York, February 10-28, 1953]. The bronze in Valentin's catalogue can be identified as the NGC's by its marble base. The National Gallery of Canada acquired the piece from Valentin on November 2, 1955.

[3] See note [2]. Accession Log [NGC curatorial file].

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