Henri Matisse

La Leçon de peinture or La Séance de peinture [The Painting Lesson or The Painting Session]

About this artwork

This is a room at the Hôtel de la Méditerrannée in Nice, where Matisse spent the first three winters after the First World War. The room had a view of the sea, which is reflected in the oval mirror, creating the illusion of a painting-within-a-painting. The sketchily outlined artist, seated on the left, is working on a canvas, while his young model, eighteen-year-old Antoinette Arnoux, is absorbed in a book. Maitland bought the picture from Christie’s in London for £21,000 in 1960. He found the title The Painting Lesson unsatisfactory and always referred to the picture as Girl Reading

Updated July 2022

  • artist:
    Henri MatisseFrench (1869 - 1954)
  • title:
    La Leçon de peinture or La Séance de peinture [The Painting Lesson or The Painting Session]
  • date created:
    1919
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    73.40 x 92.20 cm; Framed: 96.10 x 114.70 x 9.20 cm / 22.00 kg
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Bequeathed by Sir Alexander Maitland 1965
  • accession number:
    GMA 929
  • gallery:
  • artwork photographed by:
    Antonia Reeve
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Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse