In this pastel, Masson portrays a young Peter Matisse, son of Pierre Matisse and of Teeny (Alexina Duchamp). André Masson had been in contact with Pierre Matisse ﬁrst as a friend of his father Henri Matisse, and then through Pierre's gallery in New York, which will dedicate a solo show to Masson in 1933. As Masson joins New York in the early 1940's, he will continue showing with Pierre Matisse and frequent the dealer's family and entourage.
In 1943, Masson in full strength of his « american period » will execute this vibrant portrait of Peter Matisse, accentuating his pink cheeks and venetian blond curly hair. His eyes are shown large, curious and still naive due to his young age. They are bright blue and attract the viewer's eyes to the center of the painting. Almost in an homage to Peter's grandfather, Henri, André Masson uses a strikingly fauvist palette for this work. Peter is decorated with a bright yellow ruﬀ, in an attempt to strengthen the attention to the young boy's face. Masson even decided to draw a ﬁctional frame in dark green to give the work a classical element.
Pierre Matisse, New York Private Collection, France by descent, Private Collection, France Galerie Jean-François Cazeau, Paris
A certiﬁcate of the Comité André Masson will accompany this work.