Entrance to the Kasbah (1912) by Henri Matisse

Entrance to the Kasbah - Henri Matisse - 1912

Artwork Information

TitleEntrance to the Kasbah
ArtistHenri Matisse
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationHermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia

About Entrance to the Kasbah

“Entrance to the Kasbah” is an artwork by Henri Matisse, created in 1912 using oil on canvas. This work is a representative of the Post-Impressionism movement and falls into the genre of interior scenes. The artwork is housed at the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

The artwork displays Matisse’s interest in the exotic and the decorative, which he developed during his travels. It features a view through an arched opening leading into a Kasbah, a type of fortress or walled city that is typical in North Africa. The artwork is characterized by bold color contrasts and simplified forms. The red carpet, possibly a flight of stairs, draws the viewer’s eye into the composition, leading to a blue room that contrasts with the vibrancy of the red. There’s an evident harmony in the juxtaposition of warm and cool tones.

On the left side of the artwork, a person is seated, engaged in an activity that suggests a sense of daily life and local culture. This figure is rendered with minimal detail, allowing the viewer to focus more on the interplay of color and form rather than the individual characteristics. The scene opens onto a balcony or exterior space where a hint of vegetation can be seen, adding a touch of life to the otherwise inanimate setting.

Matisse’s technique here is consistent with the ethos of Post-Impressionism, favoring emotional expression and the use of color over realism. He utilizes broad, flat areas of color and strong outlines, pushing the boundaries of traditional perspective to create a composition that is as much about the sensation of color and light as it is about the depiction of a specific place.

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