Danseuse Couchée (Dancer Reclining)

Henri Matisse (1869-1954), Danseuse Couchée (Dancer Reclining), lithograph, 1926-7, signed in pencil and numbered (17/130)  lower right.  Reference: Duthuit-Matisse, Matisse L’Oeuvre Grave 487. In generally good condition (evidence of prior hinge and other stains verso, unobtrusive dot or two recto),  the full sheet with deckle edges, 10 7/8 x 18, the sheet 13 x 19 3/4 inches. Printed on a pale cream wove Arches paper. From Dix Danseuses, issued by Galerie d’Art Contemporain, Paris, 1927, from the edition of 130, total printing 166.

A very good impression of this iconic Matisse image.

This is one of the several images of ballet dancers that Matisse drew with the lithographic crayon in the mid 1920’s.  He seemed to enjoy lithography because of the texture and richness of the medium, which would complement the sculptural qualities of the drawings he was creating at that period.  In  Danseuse Couchée he makes particular use of the medium in the focus on the dancer’s ballet dress – the contrasting design patterns on the bodice and skirt take on a particularly atmospheric quality in lithography.