Matisse at Home and in the Studio

A painting of a boy facing the viewer over the top of a piano at which he sits. At bottom left is a small brown figure resembling a sculpture. At top right is a woman seated on a platform, depicted in gray and white and with few identifiable features. The work has a flat appearance, with these elements rendered against a muted gray ground. However, a green triangle rises at center left.

Henri Matisse, La Leçon de piano (The Piano Lesson), late summer 1916. Oil on canvas. Museum of Modern Art, New York, Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund, 125.1946. © 2024 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Lecture Three

Success—and a restless insistence, in the years between the wars, on going his own way—emboldened Henri Matisse to experiment with new styles, including Cubism. We look at his rediscovery of the Riviera, where for a decade he spent half the year portraying the secluded bliss of sunny rooms furnished with patterned fabrics and inhabited by female models, whether clothed or nude. 

About the Lecture Series

In this four-part series John Walsh, B.A. 1961, Director Emeritus of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, explores the phases of Matisse’s career. What were the artist’s innovations, and how did he relate to the critics, public, and fellow artists of his day? Each lecture is anchored to an important work, emphasizing close looking. 

Learn more about the series.