Gertrude Stein’s ROI on her Matisse

Visual arts

Featured in San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde, Henri Matisse’s great game-changing canvas, Woman in the Hat.

SFMOMA owns the painting.

The work has amazing history. After viewing the vibrant paintings at the 1905 Salon d’Automne, Louis Vauxcelles, an important critic dubbed Matisse and his peers les fauves (the wild beasts). That’s how Femme au Chapeau helped launch Fauvism.

Matisse’s controversial use of green and blue blotches in the woman’s face and cheeks outraged le tout Paris. Leo Stein, brother to avant-garde writer Gertrude Stein, bought the widely ridiculed painting for around $200. A superb and historically important painting like Femme au Chapeau would fetch in the range of $50 million today. So let’s see how this painting would fare as an investment.

100 years 50 years 25 years today 100 years 50 years 25 years
Matisse painting $200 $50,000 $300,000 $50,000,000 13.23% 14.82% 22.71%

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