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Henri Matisse's The Dessert - Essay Example

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Summary
The essay explores Henri Matisse's The Dessert: Harmony in Red, also called The Red Room. It is a fauvist painting from the early 20th Century that has some elements in common with Impressionist works. Matisse painted the piece to fill an order…
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Henri Matisses The Dessert
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Henri Matisse's The Dessert

Download file to see previous pages... The essay "Henri Matisse's The Dessert" discovers the artwork of Henri Matisse. His style also called for the use of flatter shapes to emphasize the use of the canvas, rather than creating three dimensions and offering a window into the scene. To further develop this flat and expressionist theme, he used organic and floral symbols, such as those seen on the table cloth. The chair, at bottom left, has a flatness to it as well—all of this showing that Matisse hoped to achieve independence from realism and his own expression in this painting. Matisse also had some indecision about the color—the painting was first green, then later he changed it and repainted things blue. Finally, before the piece was sent off to a Russian art collector, Matisse painted over the blue to make the painting red. Thus, it is apparent that colors were very important to the artist, and the emotions that colors inspired influenced him in deciding which color was appropriate. Overall, Matisse's inspiration for the painting was a desire to show what was within his own head, rather than to depict reality—he therefore used his own preference in color, light, and shape, and also avoided creating a focal point in the painting. Instead, he made a sort of scene with multiple subjects in it, and left nowhere for the eye to be drawn to as a center—a sort of protest against older styles that tried to be as precise in color, detail, shape, and scale as photographs may be while trying to draw the eye to a center point using proportions. and invisible lines. What I like most about this piece is that it makes a point of using non-traditional methods of expression and illustration. The Impressionist approach to painting creates a painting that offers a look into the artist's mind, and hence we see a far more unique scene or subject than would be possible if the artist was trying to depict the scene realistically. I also like how the scene uses a dominant color. The use of red as a sort of template color allows the addition of other colors to be more magnified, and thus the contrast against red becomes sharper and more impressive. The way the paint is mixed, the colors also appear very soft and simple, without any sort of gradient or overwhelming vividness. The painting also uses shape in a way that pleases my eye. The organic shapes on the table cloth are the obvious ones. If red is the defining color in the painting, then the curves of the vegetation are the defining shape. I also like how the patterns in blue are echoed in the shapes of the fruit, flowers, and also in the plants on the painting on the wall—the shapes all seem to be juxtaposed with little forcing, yet fit together harmoniously. This makes the painting very easy to look at, rather than a harsh clashing of hard, competing lines. The painting on the wall is another element that I like, as it creates a sort of surreal feeling in the paint—the irony of a painting within a painting. The painting is enclosed within a gold frame, and it thus has an obvious separation from the main scene, yet it still relates to the main scene both directly and indirectly. The indirect relation to the main scene is that the painting on the wall offers a pleasing contrast in color, in a way that really complements the entire color scheme. On the other hand, it also seems to be part of a larger set of colors across the whole painting that includes some of the fruits as a residual part of the concentration of green in the wall painting, while the red house and blue sky in the wall painting have the same relation to the larger scene. The final part about the painting that I ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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