Janet Bishop: A Few More Stein Stories

October 25, 2011  |  By
Filed under: Essay

Henri Matisse, _Harriet Lane Levy_, 1913; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, bequest of Harriet Lane Levy, c Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Matisse’s drawing of Levy, on the other hand, is beautifully executed, but equally unflattering. This may have had something to do with the artist’s reluctance to make her portrait at all until she offered him an unprecedented $100, per Levy family lore.

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1 Comment

  1. Joakim G Says:

    Apparently Levy reminded him of his previous wife, Anna Levertin, also of Jewish descent, who recently had betrayed him. This really wasn’t an auspicious coincidence… I think you’re right in saying that the portrait is unappealing, but interestingly it shows off Edström’s growing misogyny. He didn’t have the spirit to make women, whom he found base at this time of his life, goddesses.

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