Gypsy (1906) by Henri Matisse

Gypsy - Henri Matisse - 1906

Artwork Information

ArtistHenri Matisse
Art MovementFauvism

About Gypsy

The artwork titled “Gypsy,” created by Henri Matisse in 1906, is an emblematic piece associated with the Fauvism art movement, which is known for its strong color and dynamic brushwork. Matisse’s painting falls within the genre of nude painting (nu), which was a popular subject for artists of this and earlier periods.

In this piece, Matisse presents a figure with a relaxed posture, sitting and seemingly gazing out of the canvas. The artwork features vigorous paint application and a bold palette—hallmarks of Fauvism. The colors are vivid and unconventional for skin tones, as Matisse has used a spectrum of yellows, greens, and reds to contour the body and create depth. The background is composed of broad, loose brushstrokes that frame the figure, further accentuating the contrast between the subject and its surroundings. Such characteristics were typical of Matisse’s innovation during this era, as he and his contemporaries sought to liberate color from its traditional descriptive role and use it for emotive expression.

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