The Serf
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Henri Matisse, French (Cateau-Cambresis, France 1869 - 1954 Nice, France)
The Serf
Work Type
Physical Descriptions
92.7 x 32.4 x 34.2 cm (36 1/2 x 12 3/4 x 13 7/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: back of base: HM 10/10
  • inscription: French: Valsuani cast ca. 1930
  • inscription: front of base, French: Le Serf
  • inscription: back of base; left side, French: Cire - C. Valsuani - perdue
[Curt Valentin Gallery, New York, New York], sold; to Fogg Art Museum, 1953.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Alpheus Hyatt Purchasing Fund
© Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Accession Year
Object Number
Modern and Contemporary Art
Publication History

Albert Edward Elsen, The Sculpture of Henri Matisse, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York), pp. 24-40, fig. 26, 27, 32, 40, 42, 44, 45

Perry T. Rathbone, European Masters of Our Time, exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston, MA, 1957), p. 23, fig. 11, ill. (b/w)

Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Matisse: His Art and His Public, exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York, 1966), pp. 52, 305, repr.

Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture from the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, exh. cat., Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, CT, 1967)

Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings from the Fogg Art Museum, exh. cat., Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, NY, 1967), cat. 35

Isabelle Monod-Fontaine, The Sculpture of Henri Matisse, exh. cat., Arts Council of Great Britain, London (London, 1984), p.9, fig 7

Jack Flam, Matisse in the Cone Collection: The Poetics of Vision, exh. cat., Baltimore Museum of Art (Baltimore, MD, 2001), pp. 31-32, fig. 7

Collection(s), Matisse Museum (Le Cateau-Cambresis, France, 2002), pp. 15, 47, 82, 84, ill.

Exhibition History

European Masters of Our Time, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, 10/10/1957 - 11/17/1957

Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings from the Fogg Art Museum, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, 05/08/1967 - 06/11/1967

Paintings, Drawings, Sculpture from the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, 10/12/1967 - 12/03/1967

Pioneers of Modern Sculpture, Tate Gallery, London, 07/30/1973 - 09/23/1973

Carvings, Casts, & Replicas: nineteenth-century sculpture from Europe & America in New England collections, Rhode Island School of Design, Museum of Art, Providence, 01/26/1995 - 04/23/1995; Middlebury College Museum of Art, Middlebury, 09/22/1994 - 12/11/1994

Modern Art at Harvard, Oita City Museum, Oita, 01/06/2000 - 02/06/2000; Museum of Modern Art, Ibaraki, Ibaraki, 02/11/2000 - 03/26/2000; Bunkamura Museum of Art, Tokyo, 07/31/1999 - 09/26/1999; Takamatsu City Museum of Art, Kagawa, 10/09/1999 - 11/14/1999; Matsuzakaya Art Museum, Nagoya, 12/02/1999 - 12/27/1999

Subjects and Contexts

Collection Highlights

Verification Level

3 - Good. Object is well described and information is vetted