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Matisse painted this work while renting a house near Nice in the South of France. The relaxed, relatively naturalistic style is typical of his work of the early 1920s. It was bought by the Contemporary Art Society in 1926 with the intention of presenting it to the Tate Gallery. Matisse wrote that the painting ‘will represent me as well as possible - moreover, I think that it will not frighten the acquisitions committee of the Modern Museum in London.' In fact, the Tate initially turned it down, but accepted it in 1938.

August 2007