Boats at Etretat (1920) by Henri Matisse

Boats at Etretat - Henri Matisse - 1920

Artwork Information

TitleBoats at Etretat
ArtistHenri Matisse
Dimensions38.5 x 46 cm
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Boats at Etretat

The artwork titled “Boats at Etretat” is an oil on canvas painting by Henri Matisse, dating back to 1920. The piece stands as an exemplar of the Post-Impressionist movement and measures 38.5 by 46 cm. Classified under the marina genre, it is currently housed in a private collection.

In the artwork, one observes a coastal scene where several boats are moored or beached on the sandy shore. The center of attention is a prominently featured boat with its hull turned partially towards the viewer, displaying a dark color that contrasts with the light-colored sandy beach. Its sails are set, though slackened, suggesting a lack of wind or mooring status. In the background, there are other, less detailed boats positioned further out into the water, alongside a distant landform that stretches out into the sea.

The painting is rendered with evident brushstrokes, characteristic of the Post-Impressionist style, where the depiction of light and color is often bold and imaginative, rather than strictly realistic. Matisse’s brushstrokes contribute to the dynamic texture of the sea and sky, granting the work movement and vitality. The color palette is diverse, utilizing range of hues from the earthy tones of the beach to the various shades of blues and purples in the sea and sky, which imbues the scene with depth and richness.

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