© 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
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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, In Memory of Curt Valentin 1902-1954: An Exhibition of Modern Masterpieces Lent by American Museums, exh. cat. (New York, NY, 1954), n.p., cat. 23, ill. (b/w)

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

Caroline A. Jones, Modern Art at Harvard: The Formation of the Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Collections of the Harvard University Art Museums (New York, NY and Cambridge, MA, Abbeville Press/Harvard University Art Museums, 1985). With an essay by John Coolidge and a preface by John M. Rosenfield. To accompany the inaugural exhibition at the Sackler Museum, Oct 21 1985 - Jan 5 1986, p. 70, fig. 64, ill. (b/w)

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

In Memory of Curt Valentin 1902-1954: An Exhibition of Modern Masterpieces Lent by American Museums, Curt Valentin Gallery, 10/05/1954 - 10/30/1954

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, Middlebury College Museum of Art, Middlebury, 09/22/1994 - 12/11/1994; Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, 01/26/1995 - 04/23/1995

Modern Art at Harvard, 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; Oita City Museum, Oita, 01/06/2000 - 02/06/2000; Museum of Modern Art, Ibaraki, Ibaraki, 02/11/2000 - 03/26/2000

Subjects and Contexts

Collection Highlights

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art at am_moderncontemporary@harvard.edu