Laurette with Long Locks (1916) by Henri Matisse

Laurette with Long Locks - Henri Matisse - 1916

Artwork Information

TitleLaurette with Long Locks
ArtistHenri Matisse
Art MovementPost-Impressionism

About Laurette with Long Locks

The artwork titled “Laurette with Long Locks,” created by Henri Matisse in 1916, is a portrait that exemplifies the Post-Impressionist movement, a phase which followed the initial burst of Impressionism and sought to evoke more emotional depth and structural form. Matisse’s piece is a vivid illustration of this movement’s characteristic style.

Delving into the artwork itself, it showcases a frontal representation of a female subject named Laurette, rendered with a strikingly simplified yet expressive approach that is typical of Matisse’s work from this period. The composition is straightforward, the subject placed centrally against a neutral background that serves to focus the viewer’s attention on her figure and facial features.

Her hair is captured in deep, inky tones that flow down her shoulders in thick locks, contrasting sharply with the paler shades of her skin and the light garment she wears. The picture is marked by a certain flatness, as Matisse eschews detailed rendering for a more stylized interpretation of form. Laurette’s facial expressions are distilled to a few well-placed brush strokes that reveal a composed, almost enigmatic demeanor, typical of portrait representation in this art movement. This lack of spatial depth, the strong contour lines and the bold handling of color and form, create a tableau that resonates with the viewer on an emotive level, as is emblematic of the Post-Impressionist aims to go beyond merely mirroring the visual to capturing the essence of the subject.

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