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Back turned to Open Window by Matisse - Essay Example

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The essay discovers Back turned to Open Window (1921-1923), painted by Henri Matisse. When discussing the artist Henri Matisse, the discussion will primarily revolve around color. He is best remembered as one of the principle artists of the early 20th century Modernist period…
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Back turned to Open Window by Matisse
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Download file to see previous pages The essay "Back turned to Open Window by Matisse" explores the piece of art by Henri Matisse. Henri Matisse was born in 1869 in Le Cateau-Cambresis, Nord, France. In 1889, after a bout with appendicitis, his mother gave him a set of paints for something to do while he recovered. The act of painting became an obsession for him and he developed his work throughout the rest of his life. Matisse had experienced a great deal of difficulty in creating a career that was respected and appreciated. A founding member of the Fauvists with Andre Derain, his use of color and light provided expression that was predominant over the use of detail. The artists from Munich who had supported the development of Expressionsim, Kandinsky and Jawlensky, as an example, believed that the work of 1905 that was most worthy of their attention was coming from the Fauves, their eye now to France in order to observe the advancement of their movement. His work post 1919 represented a softening of his approach and a ‘return to order’ in which he once again looked back to the Masters, such as the Dutch painter Vermeer of the 17th century, for inspiration. Vermeer worked with exploring the use of light within his work. The piece Seated Woman, Back turned to Open Window (1921-1923), was from a collection of work in which he was examining the uses of color and form towards representation but through the lens of expression for emotional context. The piece was sold in 1947 through a catalogue by Durand-Ruel that offered the work. for fifteen thousand dollars along with works from Manet, Degas, and Renoir which situated Matisse in the position of being one of the modern masters (O’Brien, 1999, p. 56). In the work Seated Woman, Back turned to Open Window (1921-1923), Matisse uses linear movement in order to direct the eye towards the focal point of the woman. The horizontal lines converge with the vertical in order to frame the exterior view as the shutter acts as a frame for her as she sits in front of it. Repetitions of rectangular shapes within the window are mimicked in the horizontal brush strokes of the water. Their shape has been morphed to be more organic, but still reflect the frame that holds them. While the work is representational, it holds a bit of the abstract as the forms and shapes create the imagery of what they reflect, rather than precisely reflecting reality. The brush strokes are expressive and reflect the Fauve aesthetics while revealing his return to a more classic form and holding their representative value. The painting is somewhat flattened, the roundness of the objects pushed back with the abstraction of their essence visually defined by shape and color. The refined use of primary colors, predominately of blue and red, are enhanced with touches of an ochre yellow in order to create interest and definition. Light ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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