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Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954) Tete de Femme, 1942

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American & European Works of Art - 2470
Date / Time :
September 11, 2009 12:00PM


Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954)

Tete de Femme, 1942
Inscribed, signed and dated "A Monsieur Marcel Z. Méraud/Cordialement/Henri
Matisse 17...42" in pencil l.l.
Ink and graphite on paper, sheet size 8 1/8 x 5 in. (20.6 x 12.7 cm), framed.
Condition: Taped to silk covered mat at four corners verso, acid burn to corners, deckled edges.

Provenance: Daniel Sickles, Paris, France; Hans Peter Kraus, New York; Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (née Braman) Grasso, Essex, Connecticut.

Literature: [Collection Daniel Sickles] Bibliothèque d'un Amateur, Très Beaux Livres Illustrés Modernes Dans d'Importantes Reliures dont 53 Signées de Pierre Legrain, Exemplaires uniques dont Les Fleurs du Mal Illustrées par Rouault, Deuxieme partie, Paris: Musée Galliéra, 21 May 1963 (no. 265); Kraus, H.P., The Illustrated Book, Catalogue 108, no. 138, 1964.

N.B. We wish to thank Wanda de Guebriant of the Archives Matisse for her kind assistance with cataloguing the lot. The work is no. K296 in the Archives Matisse and a photo-certificate accompanies the lot.
The work was one of eight original drawings included in a presentation copy of Souvenirs d'un marchand de tableaux by Ambroise Vollard, published by Éditions Albin Michel in 1937, which was pen inscribed and gifted to his chauffeur Marcel Z. Méraud.

In a letter from the Archive Matisse dated February 16, 1942, Meraud shares his enthusiasm for the gift from Vollard, and requests a work from Matisse to add to the book. He writes: "Mr. Fabiani had to tell you about the book that Mr. Ambroise Vollard dedicated to me; among other things, it is the first book out of the printing press that Mr. Vollard gave to me, saying, "Marcel, the first is for you!" Within this book are [works by] Mr. Vollard's art colleagues and friends-one made me a drawing, another a watercolor, another a drawing with watercolor, etc…Would you allow me to ask a remembrance of you? I would be very grateful." (translated from French)

In a second letter, also from the Archive Matisse dated September 23, 1942, Méraud acknowledges receipt of a drawing and expresses his pleasure with the work: "I received your magnificent drawing that I quickly put it in my book of the recollections of Mr. Ambroise Vollard, which is for me, the best souvenir, with the nice dedication of Mr. Vollard and fine drawings by artists that I had the pleasure of seeing regularly without knowing more intimately, I thank you even more, because your beautiful gesture allows me to enrich my book with a beautiful memory of a great master." (translated from French)

Estimate $20,000-40,000

Acid burn to sheet from tape hinges to silk covered mat, subtle rippling.


Henri Matisse, Ambroise Vollard, Hans Peter Kraus, Paris, Daniel Sickles, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, France, Essex, Connecticut, Pierre Legrain, Wanda de Guebriant, chauffeur, Albin Michel, printing press, Edwardian era, Fauvism, Modern painters