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Matisse based this sculpture on a photograph of two women embracing, but translated it into a more compact, three-dimensional composition by fusing their torsos and shortening and thickening their legs. Positioning the figures face to face eliminates any frontal view, which encourages examination from various angles. “Fit your parts into each other as a carpenter does a house,” Matisse said. “Everything must be constructed, built upon parts that make a unit.”