Henri Matisse’s ‘Blue Nude (IV)’ is a paper collage that was first created in 1952 and is now housed in the National Gallery of Art, Washington. The work took Matisse a notebook of research studies, and two weeks of cutting-and-arranging to complete. In all four works, there are intertwined legs and an arm stretching behind the neck.
The connections with the living model become most apparent in this work, particularly through the articulation of weight and the featured biomorphic toes. This cut-out was informed by his earlier exploration with sculpture, referencing its intimate relation to Matisse’s own sculptural practice in its shape and composition.
It is clear that Matisse put considerable effort into creating ‘Blue Nude (IV)’, resulting in an artwork full of intimate detail and captivating composition. Like his contemporary Masaccio’s ‘Trinity’, this artwork explores the physical dynamics of humans through its representation of form.