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Woodblock - Nude in profile on a chaise longue (The Large Woodcut)

Nude in profile on a chaise longue (The Large Woodcut)

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    France (cut)

  • Date:

    1906 (cut)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Matisse, Henri, born 1869 - died 1954 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Incised fruit-wood

  • Credit Line:

    Bought with the assistance of the Lumley Cazalet Gallery, whose gift was made in memory of Frank Perls

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case CUPBOARD, shelf 6, box A

This woodblock is made up of two joined planks of pearwood. Matisse (1869-1954) cut away the wood to make the design with knives, chisels and gouges to leave the stark lines, dashes and dots that form the printed image. Although an impression printed from this block was identified as a 'woodcut' in an exhibition catalogue of 1907, for many years after the print was thought to be a linocut, and described as such in many publications about Matisse. It was only when the woodblock was found in the 1960s was it universally accepted that the print was in fact a woodcut.

Physical description

Cut woodblock depicting seated female nude in profile. Block formed from two thick joined planks.

Place of Origin

France (cut)


1906 (cut)


Matisse, Henri, born 1869 - died 1954 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Incised fruit-wood


Height: 39.8 cm, Width: 28.6 cm, :, :, :

Object history note

Although a print from this block is described as a 'gravure sur bois' in the catalogue of the Salon des Independants of 1907, it was thought to be a lino-cut for many years and is described as such in much of the literature. Only on the re-discovery of the wood-block in the 1960s was the print re-instated as a woodcut. An edition of 50 impressions was printed from the block, one exists in MOMA and another in the BM.

Descriptive line

'Nude in profile on a chaise longue (The Large Woodcut)', woodblock (for E.276-1994), Henri Matisse, 1906

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Timmers, Margaret (ed), Impressions of the Twentieth Century: Fine Art Prints from the V&A's Collection, London, V&A Publications, 2001
Allegra Presenti, Gouge: The Modern Woodcut from 1870 to Now Los Angeles: Hammer Museum, 2008.
Matisse and engraving : the other instrument Milano : Silvana, 2015. 9788836632459

p. 76
Baker, Malcolm, and Brenda Richardson (eds.), A Grand Design: The Art of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London: V&A Publications, 1999.





Subjects depicted

Chaises longues; Nudes




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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