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Moroccan in Green, 1912

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Artist Matisse, Henri

There is a label on the back of the canvas that bears an inscription from the painter: Henri Matisse, Hotel de France, Tanger, which allows one to conclude that the picture was painted in this hotel at the beginning of 1913.

The painting is also known as Standing Man of Riff, as opposed to another painting called Seated Man of Riff ( Barnes Foundation. Merion, Pennsylvania). Both paintings depict the same Riffian warrior in the same outfit. Agnes Amber, in her references to Gaston Diehl's book (Henri Matisse. Paris, 1954, p. 140), states that Standing Man of Riff was painted after the much larger picture in the Barnes Foundation, "however, it can easily be a preliminary sketch." Although both paintings are similar in their approach to and handling of color, prominent differences remain. For example, in Seated Man of Riff the background is composed of green and yellow lines, and their compositions differ considerably.

The same warrior appears seated, in the same attire, in another work by Matisse in the Barnes Collection (USA). The two paintings were executed at the end of 1912, during Matisse's second trip to Morocco, and were probably intended to be displayed together. The broadshouldered figure occupies almost the whole of the picture space but it is pure colour, light and clear, which dominates the work. The painting's cold tones seem like the mirage of an oasis in the hot air of the desert from which the warrior came.


Signed, bottom right: Henri Matisse


Hermitage Museum, inv. no. 9155



1913, Shchukin collection. Moscow;

1918, First Museum of Modern Western Painting, Moscow;

1923, Museum of Modem Western Art, Moscow;

since 1948, Hermitage.  St Petersburg.



Institution Hermitage Museum
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 146.5 x 97.7 cm













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