The Pink Nude and You Nude

Pink Nude by Henri Matisse

I recently met the above naked lady at an exhibit at Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art. You can read more about this fabulous exhibit here.

Painted by Henri Matisse in 1935, The Pink Nude is one of hundreds of pieces of French art collected by the Cone sisters from my hometown of Baltimore.

Claribel Cone, a physician and researcher, and her sister Etta  were supported largely by their brother Moses. The sisters were avant-garde in their artistic tastes. (Although you wouldn’t guess it from their outfits.)

Here they are with their buddy, Gertude Stein.  (Gertrude is in the middle):

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The Cone sisters had an eye for art and became a patron of Matisse when he was little appreciated by the art world.

Their pink friend in the painting, looking oh so nonchalant and tres comfortable with her pose au naturel, got me thinking about nudity.

My own.

Sometimes, in the shower, I glance down at myself and think, rats! I’m starting to look like  the world doesn’t think nudes should look. I could make a long list of famous artists who would never bop down from heaven to paint me.

And other times, especially when I’m in a good mood, I’ll stand in front of the mirror in my bedroom and think, hey, sure you need to put some clothes on soon, but Barbara nude isn’t so bad.

Now it’s your turn.

I’ve bared my thoughts. Time for you to bare yours.

Patti Winker, you’re extra brave about telling us stuff.

Do tell.

To  help fuel the conversation, here’s another Mattise from the Cone Collection.  She’s on the blue side, not nearly as comfortable in her skin as the lady in pink.

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What about you? Does nudity make you rosy or blue?

Note Card Giveaway!  Congratulations to Diane, who won the Suzanne Cheryl Gardner giveaway.

14 thoughts on “The Pink Nude and You Nude”

  1. Love, love, love Matisse! And I would gladly trade mine for either of his pink or blue versions! Even Rubens would think twice about painting me! haha!


  2. Nudity and I became better friends when I started doing hot yoga and lost a bunch of weight. But then I got injured and stopped doing it. Now, nudity and I have gone our separate ways. But for a woman of 52, I don’t feel too badly about my nude body. In fact, drop the boobs on that pink lady about 5 inches and we look very similar. 🙂


  3. I saw the Cone exhibit in NY- fantastic art and family story.
    Nude– I’m a quick showerer and get dressed.. not much parading around. I did know a woman who did her housework naked… we were always laughing about it. A nice thrill for the UPS guy.


  4. I don’t mind being nude, but I also wish I looked better. However, I refuse to let myself feel badly about my less-than-perfect body in front of my husband, who seems to like me just fine. I only wish my boobs were as bouncy as they were even five years ago. Ah well.


  5. I’m okay with my body thought I’d like a little less sagging and not so many brown spots. Mostly I am grateful that all parts are functioning normally and I don’t have any aches and pains (yet).


  6. YIKES! Talk about being called out! Barbara, you are a stitch.

    I guess I’d better chime in now, eh? I love nudes. I love Matisse nudes. I love any ‘Rubenesque’ nude. My Mom actually sketched some nudes way, way back that I found quite intriguing and lovely. I also like those scantily clad 40s pin-ups. For a heterosexual, I certainly do like looking at naked ladies. Ha! (Okay, was that extra brave enough? tee hee!)

    Personally, I have grown to like my naked body more as I get older. I used to be so critical of my body. (It didn’t help that my ex-husband was very critical of… everything.) Now, I feel comfortable, even pleased sometimes. (It helps that my husband is tickled pink with everything about my figure.)

    With all the droopy, saggy, wrinkly stuff going on, I’m surprised how easy it is to be nude… comfortably nude. Now, I do NOT do housework in the nude. Cause… well, you know those big ol’ underwire bras with the super support for the full figure gal? Those were invented for me. So, no. If I’m movin’ around, they are strapped in good. TMI. But you said ‘extra brave.’ 🙂

    So, yeah. I can walk around nude now, comfortably. When I pass a mirror, I can say, “hmmmm… better get back on that bike” or “hmmmm… kinda nice.” I guess I would say that I now can assess my nude body without criticizing it. It is what it is, and I, like Judith, am mostly thankful for its functionality and good health.

    Okay, more bravery? Seven of us sisters and cousins get together every other year just to have fun. A couple years ago we rented houses on the gulf in Florida and the younger women (our daughters and grand-daughters) came along. My poor daughter still laments how she will never be able to erase certain images of that week from her brain:

    Clear night + full moon + wine + warm gulf breezes = old women swimming in the nude.

    However… I’m glad no one was taking pictures of said event. So, I’m okay with my nude body, but really wouldn’t care for anyone, even Matisse, to immortalize it.

    Thanks for the fun topic, Barbara, and the challenge to be brave and share!


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