French artist Edgar Degas (1834 – 1917) made sketches of this composition, Young Woman with Ibis during his second stay in Rome (1857 – 58). Originally conceived as a depiction of a pensive woman, the painting assumed a mysterious air when Degas added the imaginary Middle Eastern cityscape, the pink flowers, and the two red ibises around 1860- 62. About the same time, he also considered adding the brilliant birds to his large historical painting, Semiramis Building Babylon, which resides in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
Matisse painted this oil sketch in the summer of 1904, while working alongside fellow artist Paul Signac on the French Riviera, and he completed the final painting (now at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris) the following winter.
Both Signac and Matisse were influenced by the elder painter Paul Cézanne, whose discrete strokes of color emphasized the materiality of the painted surface over naturalistic illusion. But Matisse went further, using a palette of pure, high-pitched colors (blue, green, yellow, and orange) to render the landscape, and outlining the figures in blue. The painting takes its title from a line by the nineteenth-century poet Charles Baudelaire and shares the poems subject of an escape to an imaginary, tranquil refuge.
Study for Luxe, Calme et Volupté (Luxury, Calm and Pleasure) is part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.