Henri Matisse predominantly pursued sculpture early on in his career, completing more than half of his body of three-dimensional works between 1900 and 1910. Although he infused the medium with unique expressive tendencies, it was primarily an inspiration and aid for the artist as he wrangled with pictorial problems in his painterly practice. Reclining nude I (Aurora) was a particularly favorite motif, and he included its image in a number of paintings. Matisse often incorporated objects from his studio in his compositions, but he would depict this sculpture far more often than any other. In two works dated 1927 and 1929, he returned to the pose of this work, greatly simplifying the contours of its silhouette. This was characteristic of Matisse, who often worked in series where he repeatedly manipulated the same form.
Label from Matisse and the Art of Jazz, January 20–July 1, 2018