Checker Players | Paintings by Henri Matisse, 1915-28


Pianist and Checker Players is set in Matisse’s Nice apartment and shows the artist’s favorite model, Henriette Darricarère and her two brothers. The painting can be seen as a surrogate family portrait, with Henriette standing in for Matisse’s daughter, and the two boys representing his sons.
This is distinctly Matisse’s world: near the empty armchair at the center of the painting where the artist might sit, his violins hang from the armoire and his drawings and paintings are tacked to the wall.< Henri Matisse, Pianist and Checker Players, 1924 
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The Painter’s Family made in 1911, represented the genre scene of a Matisse’s family at home where the artist painted his wife, Amélie, seated on the sofa in the background of the setting focused on her own activity, while his sons, Jean and Pierre were involved in a game of checkers in the middle of the room; his daughter, Marguerite, appeared to be looking askance towards the boys at the checkerboard.

Henri Matisse, The Painter’s Family, 1915 >
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Henri Matisse, Odalisques Playing Checkers, 1928
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Henri Matisse, Odalisques Playing Checkers, 1928

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