Odalisque with Tambourine (Harmony in Blue)

Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954)
Oil on canvas 
36-1/4 x 25-5/8 in. (92.1 x 65.1 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Accession Number:
© 2017 Succession H. Matisse/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Reproduction, including downloading of ARS works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 
Not on View

In the 1920s, Matisse settled in Nice, the epicenter of the silent-film industry in France. Perhaps inspired by such local productions as La sultane de l’amour (1919), the painter began staging orientalist scenes in his seafront studio using an ever-changing assortment of decorative wall hangings, rugs, and costumes. Over the next eight years, Matisse devoted himself to the theme of the odalisque, basing the majority of these compositions on a model and former dancer named Henriette Darricarrère, who was working as a film extra when she first met the artist. Odalisque with Tambourine (Harmony in Blue) evidences Matisse’s creative collaboration with Darricarrère, as the model’s upraised arms and the round red form of the tambourine reiterate the decorative x’s and o’s of the North African textile behind her.


Artist’s collection, still in 1931;
Pierre Loeb, Paris.
Joseph Hessel, Paris.
Paul and Marguerite Rosenberg, Paris and New York by 1937, private inventory no. 3605-P;
Confiscated by ERR, no. PR24 (1941), traded to;
Gustav Rochlitz, Paris, to;
Max Stöcklin, Paris, transferred to;
Georges Schmid, Zurich, sold to;
Galerie [Toni] Aktuaryus, Zurich, for CHF 12,000, sold 18 December 1942 for CHF 14,000 to;
Emil Bührle, Zurich, restituted 3 June 1948 to;
Paul Rosenberg, New York, sold 2 September 1966 to;
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

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