Open Window, Collioure

This beautifully complex view out a window onto a ship-filled harbor was Matisse’s first Fauvist work. The intense blocks of colors appear to be haphazardly placed, as if by wild beasts from which the movement got its name. But there is a logic and balance in the composition. The colors ‘function in complementary pairs—orange-red masts over blue hulls, red blossoms amid green leaves on the wall, opposing reflections of turquoise and pink. Complements such as these become more intense when seen next to each other.’ The colors were not placed to record a true to life recording of the surroundings, but rather to create a visually stimulating image. This sentiment is captured in a quote from Matisse ‘When I put a green, it is not grass. When I put a blue, it is not the sky.’

Original Medium: oil on canvas

Original Size: 21 3/4 x 18 1/8 in.

Date: 1905

Location: National Gallery of Art

Matisse in the News

New York Times Article - ‘Graphic Passion: Matisse & the Book Arts’ at the Morgan Library

In Paris during 1946, Henri Matisse made a series of portrait drawings of a notoriously splenetic theater critic named Paul Léautaud. One of the images was to be made into a lithograph for the frontispiece in a book of Léautaud’s writings.... READ THE NY TIMES ARTICLE

Matisse Junkies, Rejoice! A Survey of Grand Works and Studio Relics Captivates in Boston

It’s a great time to be a Matisse junkie. All sorts of exhibitions devoted to the beloved French modernist are being mounted these days. During the past few months along the Eastern seaboard alone, many of the artist’s masterpieces were on view in ... READ THE ARTNEWS ARTICLE 

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