Lady on a Terrace (1907) by Henri Matisse

Lady on a Terrace - Henri Matisse - 1907

Artwork Information

TitleLady on a Terrace
ArtistHenri Matisse
Art MovementFauvism
Current LocationHermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia

About Lady on a Terrace

The artwork “Lady on a Terrace” is a creation by the notable artist Henri Matisse, completed in the year 1907. An oil on canvas genre painting, it exemplifies the vivid color and bold form characteristic of the Fauvist movement, to which Matisse was a major contributor. Currently, this piece resides at the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia, where it remains accessible to the public for viewing and appreciation.

In the artwork, a lady is depicted seated on a terrace. She is leisurely posed, her body inclined in a contemplative or relaxed manner, conveying a sense of leisure and repose. The outdoor scene allows for a sweeping view, with components like the broad terrace balustrade featuring ornate balusters that gently lead the eye towards the seascape beyond. In the background, we can observe a sailboat on the water and a softly contoured hill with what appears to be a small structure or group of structures at the crest, possibly suggesting a distant village or estate. The palette is dominated by warm tones – the terracotta of the terrace, the ochre of the hillside, and the intense spots of color such as the lady’s vividly patterned skirt, contrasting with the cooler greens and blues of her upper garment and the sea. These chromatic choices are emblematic of Fauvism’s liberation from traditional representation, emulating emotional expression through color and composition. The brushwork is apparent and unrestrained, further signifying the artist’s departure from realism in favor of a more subjective portrayal of the scene.

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