Cagnes, Landscape in Stormy Weather (1917) by Henri Matisse

Cagnes, Landscape in Stormy Weather - Henri Matisse - 1917

Artwork Information

TitleCagnes, Landscape in Stormy Weather
ArtistHenri Matisse
Art MovementExpressionism

About Cagnes, Landscape in Stormy Weather

The artwork titled “Cagnes, Landscape in Stormy Weather” was created by Henri Matisse in 1917. This piece is an embodiment of the Expressionism art movement, which is evident in its representation of the landscape genre. As with many expressionist works, Matisse’s interpretation of the landscape is not merely a literal depiction but an emotional rendering that communicates the mood and atmosphere of the scene.

Examining the artwork reveals a dynamic and tempestuous sky, laden with heavy, brooding clouds that dominate the upper portion of the composition. Their grey and purple hues suggest an imminent deluge, a common characteristic of stormy weather. Beneath this foreboding sky, the landscape is rendered in robust, earthy tones, and the vegetative forms appear to be bracing against the impending storm. The color palette is both vivid and arresting; it effectively communicates the charged atmosphere of the scene, with contrasting warm and cool tones that amplify the sense of unrest within nature.

In the middle ground of the artwork, undulating terrain suggests the rolling hills that are characteristic of certain landscapes, possibly alluding to the topography found in the south of France, near Cagnes. Sharp, almost aggressive strokes define the foliage, adding to the overall sense of turbulence that pervades the scene. It is clear that Matisse has prioritized the emotional resonance of the landscape over the precise replication of its physical features. Through this expressionistic approach, the artwork becomes a powerful evocation of the natural world’s capacity for both beauty and fury.

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