The Red Blouse

A beautiful woman looks out at the viewer with powerful, piercing blue eyes. Her frame is large and fills the canvas with a kind of subtle elegance, especially with the soft frills cascading from the top if her red blouse down to her large folded hands. The color carries the most emotional weight within this work because, as in many of Matisse’s works, the details and forms have been distilled to their essence. The woman is sitting on what appears to be a dark chair but behind her is a background broken into blocks of color with a man’s face appearing over her right shoulder. The dark shape mimicking the top of the chair gives the viewer the impression that the background is a mirror and we are looking at a self portrait of Matisse looking back at the onlookers.

Original Medium: Oil on canvas

Original Size: 18 3/8 x 13 1/8 in.

Date: 1936

Location: The McNay Art Museum