A Glimpse of Notre Dame in the Late Afternoon (1902) by Henri Matisse

A Glimpse of Notre Dame in the Late Afternoon - Henri Matisse - 1902

Artwork Information

TitleA Glimpse of Notre Dame in the Late Afternoon
ArtistHenri Matisse
MediumOil on paper mounted on Canvas
Dimensions28 1/2 x 21 1/2 in. (72.5 x 54.5 cm)
Art MovementRealism

About A Glimpse of Notre Dame in the Late Afternoon

The artwork titled “A Glimpse of Notre Dame in the Late Afternoon” is a creation of the revered artist Henri Matisse, completed in the year 1902. Evidencing Matisse’s expertise is the oil on paper medium, meticulously mounted on canvas, that encapsulates the piece. This urban vista fits neatly within the confines of Realism, an art movement known for its commitment to depict scenes in a truthful and unembellished manner. The artwork’s dimensions are substantial, measuring at 28 1/2 by 21 1/2 inches (or 72.5 x 54.5 cm), which affords the viewer a generous window into the cityscape genre it so aptly represents.

The artwork itself captures a view of the famous Notre Dame cathedral, set against the backdrop of a seemingly late afternoon sky. The chosen perspective allows for a mixture of architectural forms and urban textures, rendering the cathedral as a central focus amidst its surrounding environment. The brushwork is visibly loose and expressive, reflecting the light and atmosphere of the scene in a manner that is both naturalistic and infused with the artist’s personal interpretation. The use of color is apparent, with the sky rendered in soft tones, perhaps suggesting the warmth and transient light of a waning day. In the foreground, one can observe the detail of the Parisian cityscape, alluding to the daily life and movement that occur just outside the viewer’s frame. Matisse’s ability to capture a moment in time with such distinct color and emotion is evident, manifesting a sense of immediacy and presence that speaks to the artist’s skill and the Realist ambitions of the era.

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