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.
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