In 1906, Henri Matisse presented yet another still life masterpiece called ‘Vase, Bottle, and Fruit’. This painting made with oils on canvas reflects post-impressionist style of Fauvism, of which Matisse was crowned the King…
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In 1906, Henri Matisse presented yet another still life masterpiece called ‘Vase, Bottle, and Fruit’. This painting made with oils on canvas reflects post-impressionist style of Fauvism, of which Matisse was crowned the King. As an innovation, Matisse did not place the various 2-D still life objects on top of the table. The still life objects seem to be floating within the painting, and absolutely merged in the atmosphere. Although, the subject matter is reality-based, that is various objects on a table yet we see that Matisse has not produced a slavish copy of reality. Instead of painting the still life objects and background to correspond with reality, he presents distorted images to work out pictorial harmony. In fact, the patterns and shapes in this painting successfully depict his surreal interpretation of the subject matter. He employs a dark palette for the background, combined with vibrant colors for the still life objects. This contrast focuses the audience’s attention more on the objects than the gloomy, dark background. The interior is absolutely ambiguous, capturing greater attention as a viewer tries to identify the objects and make out the background. The contrasted flat areas do not only add harmony, but also an effect of space to the painting. The clear boundaries of the table combined with the darker colors around it establish the spatial coordinates of the interior. The interior is devoid of shadows and unlike the background is entirely filled with light. The fabric presented here, depicts both, the tablecloth and background, Matisse accentuated the two-dimensional picture surface, which is highlighted even more due to the lack of shadows. He has subjugated the ordinary subject matter to his own artistic desires by constantly evolving the colors and patterns in it. Undeniably this painting is a classic illustration of the rich interplay between forms and colors Paragraph 3: Pure colors and dynamic brushstrokes give life to the painting. He ignores details, and has used vibrant and bright colors and strong lines to produce a feeling of movement. Pattern is the basic philosophy behind the painting. His use of pattern is akin to his use of colors, aimed at in-depth representation of the subject matter, regardless of the elements being still life, figure, and interior. This painting is an evidence of Matisse’s dexterity in the use of bold colors, and organic kinds that is evocatively apparent in it. Essentially, these patterns of the toile de juoy bear resemblance to flora, fauna, and vegetables and are organic. Matisse has used textiles as symbolic depictions and later termed them as ‘signs’. The blue tablecloth presented in this painting is in fact based on a textile fabric, an early nineteenth century printed French fabric made of cotton and linen. Matisse admired this fabric and termed it as his ‘toile de Jouy’. In actual, the fabric comprised of a delft blue design made on a white backdrop; however, in the painting, Matisse transformed the white into an aqua and grey shades to enrich the overall harmony. The blue and cyan hues add a powerful and bold edge to the overall painting, yet not an overpowering element. His imaginative makeover of the real life theme prime has enabled him to create oriental fantasies based on patterns. This painting incorporates the decorative element of eastern art and also uses a vast array of colors like the French Impressionists. In addition, Matisse has employed fauvism in this painting, as is evident from the wild brush strokes, strident colours, simplified theme, and abstract interpretation of
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