Most of the paintings that Henri Matisse made in Nice in the 1920s feature female models in richly decorated hotel interiors. Breakfast depicts nineteen-year-old model Antoinette Arnoux in the artist's opulently furnished room at the Hôtel de la Méditerranée. Seated, with a book on her lap, Arnoux has a contemplative, self-absorbed pose, as if lost in thought. The color, pattern, and brushstrokes that animate the room around Arnoux are typical of Matisse's Nice period, but the feeling of ennui, the sense of intimacy, and the emphasis on the psychological state of the model mark a distinct departure from the artist's earlier work.
A public scandal over the challenging appearance of his works—the rawness and immediacy of their color in particular—brought fame to Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954) in 1905. Matisse, however, was no less remarkable as a draftsman. Though the artist’s work went through many changes over a long career, its essential method was to distill his emotional response to a given still life, landscape, or human form (his principal theme) in luminous color and pure, flowing line. The museum’s holdings cover aspects of Matisse’s work from 1900 to 1950 across the mediums of painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, the artist’s book, and ceramics. Many of the key works came as gifts from Philadelphians who collected Matisse in the years following World War I.
Source: Philadelphia Museum of Art