Laurette’s Head with a Coffee Cup (1917) by Henri Matisse

Laurette's Head with a Coffee Cup - Henri Matisse - 1917

Artwork Information

TitleLaurette's Head with a Coffee Cup
ArtistHenri Matisse
Art MovementPost-Impressionism

About Laurette's Head with a Coffee Cup

“Laurette’s Head with a Coffee Cup” is a portrait by Henri Matisse, created in the year 1917. This artwork falls within the Post-Impressionism movement, which is characterized by a continuation of Impressionism’s interest in capturing the perception of light and personal expression, but with a greater emphasis on formal structure and symbolism.

The artwork depicts a figure, presumably Laurette, resting her head on one arm while lying down. Matisse employs a distinct palette with yellows and greens dominating the composition, while the subject’s attire features striking contrasts of black and white. Her facial expression is calm, her eyes stylized and the colors flat yet expressive, characteristic of Matisse’s style during this period. The presence of a coffee cup near the subject adds a domestic and intimate quality to the portrait, underscoring the casual and private setting in which Laurette is rendered. The brushstrokes are visible and the use of color is bold, elements that contribute to a sense of immediacy and vitality in the painting. The overall composition, while evoking a sense of relaxation, is carefully structured, displaying Matisse’s interest in innovative forms and expressive potential of color.

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