Femme au manteau violet (Woman in a Purple Coat) (1937) by Henri Matisse

Femme au manteau violet (Woman in a Purple Coat) - Henri Matisse - 1937

Artwork Information

TitleFemme au manteau violet (Woman in a Purple Coat)
ArtistHenri Matisse
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions37 7/8 x 25 11/16 in
Current LocationMuseum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas

About Femme au manteau violet (Woman in a Purple Coat)

Henri Matisse was a French artist famous for his extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and costumes that helped advance the modern plastic arts movement. Alongside Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp, he laid a foundation for new art forms like Fauvism while rejecting Cubism. Matisse’s keen sense of unique draughtsmanship and love of color led him to use the latter as a primary form of expression.

One such example is “Woman in a Purple Coat,” a painting created by Henri Matisse in 1937. The artwork illustrates an elegantly dressed woman standing with poise and confidence against an abstract background resembling high grasses or foliage. The subject wears an ankle-length purple coat with large buttons down the front; her short-cropped hairstyle frames her face perfectly.

The picture’s stunning beauty is due to its brilliant details and bright colors that create an illusion of sunlight shining on the woman’s face. For instance, there are patches of white within certain brushstrokes on parts of the woman’s dress representing light filtering through leaves onto the figure below it. Furthermore, every brushstroke adds texture to the piece as if one could feel each strand of hair or inch of coat fabric under their fingers.

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