Pornographic magazines have been to some a great inspiration to their art

Many great artists of our time have often had a close understanding as well as a relationship with their muses, often being the inspiration to their famous works of art. I couldn’t help noticing a small piece picking up on Henri Matisse’s early work being based in part on naked images from cheap semi-pornographic magazines back in the early 1900s.

To be featured in an exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London next August it shows how Matisse sought out explicit magazines to inspire his many nude sculptures as he struggled to have enough money to pay for models to pose for him. Instead he very shrewdly used the printed images of naked women to form the basis for many of his sculptures.

The curator of the Royal Academy, Ann Dumas mentioned that two of the exhibits would show Matisse’s nude sculptures alongside the original pornographic magazines that they were based on.

They will be among many items that Matisse often featured or used within his works, they form part of his personal collection that will be on show next to those related works of art. The exhibition Matisse in the Studio runs from August 2017 until November 2017 at the Royal Academy and is the first of its kind featuring personal objects loaned from surviving members of Matisse’s own family as well as many museums to support his works of art.

“We’re including the magazines of the time which were semi-pornographic, with photos of nude women, which Matisse was buying because at the time he couldn’t afford to pay the models.” She said.

By using the magazines it allowed him far more flexibility to understand and study the female form without needing the model to be continually in front of him.

“He was terribly poor right at the beginning. I also think he was quite interested in the poses he found in these magazines.”

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