Henri Mattise, Odalisque Seated with Arms Raised, Green Striped Chair, 1923
Pierre Auguste Renoir, Odalisque, 1870
Odalisque is the French form of Turkish odalık “chambermaid, maidservant, female slave,” composed of oda “room” and lık, a suffix expressing the function of a thing.
PS. The first two paintings are hung right next to each other in the Chester Dale Collection exhibition at the National Gallery. Hence my interest in what the hell an odalisque is, and my resulting delight (but not surprise) that it was something Ottoman/Turkish. Of course, the most famous odalisque painting is the one by Ingres.
PPS. May I point out, in the Matisse drawing above, the one continuous line that begins on the subject’s right knee and swoops down to form the outline of her inner left leg and some of the folds in her pants. Do you see it, that backwards-s-shaped stroke? That single penstroke blows my mind.