What are Henri Matisse’s most famous paintings?

Henri Matisse (1869-1954) was a sculptor and graphic artist, but he is best known as a painter. He was interested in color in his works, and by focusing on it, he was able to describe emotions through it. Henri Matisse came to art late: he was a lawyer first, and after returning from Paris, he worked in a law firm. However, he did not stay long: at the age of 20, Matisse’s appendicitis worsened, forcing him to be isolated from the rest of the world for two months (he was in the hospital). To resurrect his son, his mother brought him paper and paints; from that point on, Henri Matisse gravitated toward drawing, and he soon enrolled in art school.

The works of Henri Matisse, as well as those of Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) and Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), laid the groundwork for the emergence of modern art. Those interested in Matisse’s work are encouraged to familiarize themselves with his ten most famous and outstanding paintings.

10. Collioure’s Point of View (1905)

The painting “View of Collioure” is typically used to refer to Matisse in 1905, when he was working on the Mediterranean coast. The painting explains the flavor of southern nature, as demonstrated by the artist’s skill with paints. The work does not require colored shadows because the effect of sunlight is achieved through the use of orange, red, crimson, and purple-pink spots.

These colors can be found everywhere: on the church, the sun-baked earth, and the walls of houses. When Matisse’s painting was shown at the Autumn Salon in 1905, the audience was taken aback. They had never seen such temerity of open color, impulsiveness with which the artist worked, or simplistic techniques before.

Interesting fact: Matisse’s works were subtitled “fauvists” by critic Voxel, which means “wild.” As a result, the term “Fauvism” became synonymous with one of the twentieth-century art movements. The administration lasted only two years, from 1905 to 1907.

9. The Pleasure of Living (1905-1906)

The audience reacted angrily and noisily to “The Joy of Life” at one point. Nobody cared about it: some averted their gaze, while others were happy with a riot of colors. Matisse’s overly bright and bold painting has created a new phenomenon in the world of fine art. The artist got started on it in France, where he set up a cozy workshop in a monastery. 

There are naked figures basking in nature in the painting’s plot. Although they are all evenly distributed on the canvas, it is worth taking a few steps back to appreciate how harmoniously the picture is composed, despite the fact that Matisse did not welcome the laws of perspective. The artist affectionately referred to the painting as “My Arcadia,” implying his view of the idea-utopia of man’s absolute harmony with nature.

8. Fruits and dishes on a red and black scarf (1906)

The purro – Spanish wine vessel that we see on the artist’s canvas dates the work to 1906 in Collioure. During the summer, the author worked on the painting. Matisse traveled to North Africa in the spring of 1906, bringing with him ceramics and oriental fabrics in addition to impressions. These elements began to reappear on the artist’s canvases on a regular basis.

The red and black carpet, which had previously been misidentified as a handkerchief, also appeared in two other Matisse works: “Red Carpet” and “Still Life with a Plaster Statuette.” A bright rug covers nearly the entire canvas and serves as a decoration for dishes and fruits. Only a glass vessel demonstrates its self-sufficiency.

7. The artist’s studio (1911)

Henri Matisse was able to become the rightful owner of a house in Issy-les-Moulineaux above Paris, where the work “The Artist’s Workshop” was created, in 1909, thanks to the orders and purchases of Sergei Ivanovich Shchukin (1854-1936). The painting was described as a “symphonic interior” by the historian who was studying Matisse’s works.

Along with the “Artist’s Workshop” (or “Pink Workshop”), Henri Matisse’s suite includes the works “Family Portrait,” “Interior with eggplants,” and “Red Workshop.” All of the works are inspired by Eastern culture and have flashy decorative elements. The pink color takes center stage in Matisse’s canvas, occupying nearly the entire interior space.

6. Luxury, quietness, and enjoyment (1904)

Matisse was unusually concerned about future viewers. His canvas “Luxury, Peace, and Pleasure” appears to invite the viewer to take a breath, relax, and enjoy what he sees. The painting dates from a time when Matisse was still searching for himself, but he wanted to provide solace through his paintings. In real life, however, the artist’s character could hardly be described as cute, especially if the work did not go as planned. However, he saw art’s purpose as pleasing the audience. The canvas was painted in the spirit of pointillism and was acquired by Paul Signac (1863-1935), the direction’s founder. The painting depicts bathers, which were popular in artistic circles at the time.

An interesting fact: the image was created by scribbling with multicolored dots. Because of the technique used, the image appears to vibrate, as if a desert mirage is in front of us, delighting the viewer’s eyes.

5. Lying naked against a purple backdrop (1936)

Henri Matisse frequently painted naked women against a variety of backgrounds. The artist used three colors in this canvas: green, purple, and black, with the exception of the colors “scratched” on the black wall. Despite the painting’s small size, the female figure appears to be very voluminous.

“You must be able to convey the impression of more even in a small picture, because our pupil sees life-size,” Henri Matisse once said. In 1936, “Lying naked on a purple background” was written in Paris. This painting is now in the collection of the Moscow Museum.

4. The King’s Tragedy (1952)

The image is known as “Sad King” in Russian sources, but this does not change its meaning. Matisse cut out pieces of paper for the canvas “The Sadness of the King,” and his assistants gave them a more noble appearance by painting them with gouache. Then he gave these pieces the necessary shapes that would serve as the picture’s plot.

Henri Matisse Prints was always talking about the importance of emotions over simple means. Color was one of the artist’s means, and form was another. Matisse’s painting is reminiscent of how children draw figures with childlike simplicity. Matisse didn’t even need a brush to make his painting the best of the best.

3. The dance (1910)

Matisse believed that understanding painting did not necessitate a special education or a particular outlook. His paintings are characterized by simple forms. In his opinion, viewing the image should provide the viewer with a sense of peace and relaxation. “Dance” was inspired by the artist’s impressions of national dances.

The artist went to the Moulin de la Gallette on a Sunday afternoon. “All I was doing was watching the dancing.” I particularly enjoyed the farandola (round dance). The artist, by the way, frequently depicted round dances on his canvases. Matisse returned home and recreated the dance he saw in a 4-meter-long painting.

2. Red Fish No. 2 (1912)

Henri Matisse depicts a round table with fish in an aquarium on canvas, condensing space to its utmost. The fish appear to be swimming one after the other. The plants appear to be alive as well. The painting’s background is a garden, and the table and fish take center stage. It was simple to depict the fish’s reflection in the water with blurry spots. The table is depicted in the image as if the artist drew it from above, but the leg attached to it gives the impression that the drawing was done from the side. The image is dominated by a round figure, which establishes a rhythm on the canvas and causes pacification.

1. The lady in the hat (1905)

Henri Matisse’s name became well-known as a result of this painting. “The Woman in the Hat” is his first Fauvist work. The painting was shown at the Autumn Salon in 1905, and it enraged the Salon’s president, Francis Jourdain (1876-1958), who said, “Of course, I am a progressive person, but you need to know the measure.”

Despite his insistence that the painting be rejected, it was included in the museum’s exhibition. Jourdain thought Matisse was “too modern,” or, to put it another way, ahead of his time. The audience initially did not understand Matisse because he painted a lady in wild colors with asymmetrical facial features that did not reveal a real person in her.P.S. You can buy Henri Matisse prints here.

Robert G. Mull

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