Plate 34. DRAWING. 1934. Ink.


Plate 36. COMPOSITION FOND BLEU. 1947-48

Plate 36. NUDE IN ARMCHAIR. 1906. Ink.


Matisse's first significant sale was of the Woman with the Hat (plate 11), which was bought by the famous Stein family, Americans living in Paris. Gertrude, we know about, but Leo, her brother, was the real "thinking eye" of the family, while brother Michael and his wife, Sarah, were perhaps more deeply involved with painting than either. The Steins were also the first important collectors and patrons of Picasso, whom Gertrude soon began to favor over Matisse.

Matisse's fellow Frenchmen did little to support him in the beginning, and until 1945 less than others to maintain his fame once he had won it. Of his original patrons only his friend Marcel Sembat was French. A young artist from Munich, Hans Purrmann, like the Steins, became a Matisse enthusiast with the 1905 Salon, and he did most to gain Matisse an early acceptance in Germany. But in terms of quantity, his most important collectors before 1914 were two rich Russians, first and foremost Sergei Shchukin, and then Ivan Morosov, both of whom bought his works and those of Picasso and other great moderns by the dozens. Their expropriated collections now rest behind the locked doors of the Museum of Modern Western Art in Moscow.

During the 1920s, Dr. Albert C. Barnes of Merion, Pa., was Matisse's outstanding collector and advocate. And great service was done to contemporary American art by Hans Hofmann, the German-born painter and teacher, in that he kept Matisse's influence and example to the front among the younger artists in New York during the late 1930s and early 1940s, when the tide of opinion was going the other way. Hofmann, above all, is responsible for the final reversal of that tide in the United States.