Henri Matisse was commissioned by Sidney and Frances Brody in the last years of his life to create a ceramic wall work for their A. Quincy Jones designed home. Sidney Brody was a LACMA board chair, and the Brody’s were major modern art collectors. Color was the key focus of Matisse’s art—decorative in conception and emotionally expressive—his goal was to produce “an art of balance, of purity and serenity.” If Matisse’s fauve works (beginning in 1905) are understood as a dialogue between color and line, his last works – the so called gouaches découpées or cut gouaches, stand as a summation of his intentions. At the end of his life Matisse was commissioned to do the decoration for the chapel at Notre Dame du Rosaire in Vence, which involved designs for stained glass windows, vestments and gouaches découpées. La Gerbe, executed in ceramic, is based on a paper cutout of the same title (which the Brodys donated to UCLA following the major Matisse exhibition at UCLA that Mrs. Brody was very involved in). This Matisse ceramic wall stands as one of the artist’s last works, and his only west coast commission. For LACMA the opportunity to have on permanent view one of Matisse’s final works and one that was commissioned for a Los Angeles residence offers our public a remarkable viewing experience. La Gerbe joins Matisse’s painting, Tea, the five heads of Jeannette sculptures, as well as numerous important works on paper in LACMA’s collection. La Gerbe was promised to LACMA in conjunction with the museum’s 25th anniversary and comes to LACMA upon the recent death of Frances Brody. (Stephanie Barron, Senior Curator of Modern Art)


  • Title: La Gerbe
  • Creator: Henri Matisse
  • Creator Death Place: Nizza
  • Creator Birth Place: Le Cateau-Cambrésis
  • Date: 1953
  • Location: Poor Art Museum
  • Physical Dimensions: 274,32x396,24 cm
  • Provenance: Collection Breganze, Vicenza
  • External Link: https://www.italialiberty.it/
  • Art Movement: Modern art

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