Coffee (1916) by Henri Matisse

Coffee - Henri Matisse - 1916

Artwork Information

ArtistHenri Matisse
Dimensions100.7 x 65.4 cm
Art MovementExpressionism
Current LocationDetroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI, US

About Coffee

The artwork entitled “Coffee” was created by Henri Matisse in 1916, and it exemplifies the Expressionism movement. Employing oil on canvas as his medium, Matisse crafted this piece as a genre painting, depicting a scene from daily life. The dimensions of this artwork are 100.7 cm in height by 65.4 cm in width. It is currently housed in the Detroit Institute of Arts located in Detroit, Michigan, United States.

The artwork presents two figures set against a largely blue background that serves as both wall and expansive space. The figure standing on the right appears to be a servant or waiter, depicted in a white garment with touches of color and wearing a dark hat, holding a tray with a glass and a carafe. This person’s expression is solemn, and the posture is upright, conveying a sense of formality and service. The seated figure to the left is dressed in dark clothing and occupies the foreground. She holds a piece of fruit in one hand while gesturing toward a small coffee table with the other hand. On the table rests various items, including a coffee pot, cup, and saucer, indicating the probable consumption of a coffee beverage. The gesture of the seated figure, her reclined posture, and direct gaze suggest a casual repose in contrast to the more rigid stance of the standing figure.

Characteristic of Matisse’s style during this period, the painting features bold colors, simplified forms, and a flattened perspective, emphasizing the emotional content over realistic representation. The contrast between the figures and the vivid colors used in the composition enhances the expressionistic quality of the painting.

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