Carmelina (1903) by Henri Matisse

Carmelina - Henri Matisse - 1903

Artwork Information

ArtistHenri Matisse
Dimensions80 x 64 cm
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationMuseum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston, MA, US

About Carmelina

The artwork “Carmelina” by Henri Matisse was completed in 1903 and is an oil on canvas painting that belongs to the Post-Impressionist movement. Its dimensions are 80 by 64 centimeters, and the genre of the artwork is nude painting (nu). This piece is housed in the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston, MA, United States.

“Carmelina” by Henri Matisse presents a seated female nude as the central figure, positioned against a backdrop that suggests an intimate interior space. The model is depicted with a relaxed yet direct posture, seated on a patterned drape that cascades off an elevated platform. She holds a jar between her legs, which is a detail adding to the informal domestic setting of the composition.

The painting is marked by a bold use of color and liberal application of paint, typical of Post-Impressionist works, which often prioritized the artist’s perception and expression over the imitation of nature. The surrounding space comprises of warm earth tones and gentle contrasts, whilst the figure itself is rendered with a more solid presence, delineated by Matisse’s characteristic flowing outlines. There are also hints of a more detailed context beyond the sitter, with potential secondary figures present in the background, contributing to a narrative dimension within the domestic setting. Matisse’s treatment of the figure and space reveals a balance between the flatness of the canvas and the illusion of depth.

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