Gale at Etretat (1920) by Henri Matisse

Gale at Etretat - Henri Matisse - 1920

Artwork Information

TitleGale at Etretat
ArtistHenri Matisse
Date1920
Art MovementFauvism

About Gale at Etretat

The artwork titled “Gale at Etretat,” created by Henri Matisse in 1920, is an exemplary piece from the Fauvism art movement, which is renowned for its vivid, non-naturalistic color and dynamic brushwork. As a landscape genre painting, it presents a dramatic and expressive portrayal of the natural environment at the coastal town of √Čtretat in Normandy, France.

Depicted in the artwork is a view of the sea during a gale, with striking, turbulent waves dominating the foreground against a rocky promontory that stretches into the sea. The formations within the artwork reveal the well-known cliffs of √Čtretat, including an arch that is visually prominent and characteristic of the region’s coastal geography. Matisse’s palette is bold, and while it respects the natural blues and greens expected within the seascape, he infuses the painting with non-representational colors that heighten the emotional resonance, consonant with the Fauvist technique. The brushwork is brisk and fluid, capturing the movement of the sea and the prevailing atmosphere of the gale with a sense of immediacy that invites viewers to experience the raw energy of the natural scene.

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