Game of Bowls (1908) by Henri Matisse

Game of Bowls - Henri Matisse - 1908

Artwork Information

TitleGame of Bowls
ArtistHenri Matisse
Dimensions113.5 x 145 cm
Art MovementExpressionism
Current LocationHermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia

About Game of Bowls

The artwork “Game of Bowls” by Henri Matisse, created in 1908, is an oil on canvas that belongs to the Expressionism movement. It is a genre painting with dimensions of 113.5 x 145 cm. Currently, it is housed in the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

The artwork depicts three figures engaged in the leisurely activity of playing bowls. The scene is set outdoors with a ground that transitions from a lush green at the front to a deep blue at the top, suggesting a flat landscape against a block of sky. The figures are captured in different moments of motion, imbuing a dynamism to the composition. Matisse employs a simplified rendering of form and a restrained yet expressive use of color. The distinct outlines and flat areas of color are indicative of Matisse’s departure from traditional realism and his movement towards greater abstraction, characteristic of the Expressionist movement. Through such stylistic choices, Matisse conveys not just the physicality of the scene but also the emotional resonance of the simple, harmonious moments of everyday life.

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