Odalisque with Gray Trousers, 1927. Henri Matisse. Oil on canvas. The Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Collection, Gift of Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, 1997, Bequest of Walter H. Annenberg, 2002. © 2019 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Notwithstanding their kinship with earlier works by Ingres and Delacroix, the harem pictures Matisse made in Nice, such as this odalisque of 1927, had a more practical basis. As Matisse explained: "I paint odalisques in order to paint the nude. Otherwise, how is the nude to be painted without being artificial? But also, I know they exist. I was in Morocco. I saw them."