Marguerite (c.1918) by Henri Matisse

Marguerite - Henri Matisse - c.1918

Artwork Information

ArtistHenri Matisse

About Marguerite

The artwork titled “Marguerite,” created by the French artist Henri Matisse around 1918, is a portrait that captures the essence of the depicted subject. Executed during a period of profound artistic exploration for Matisse, the portrait is reflective of his evolving style and approach to the genre.

In the artwork, Matisse presents a stylized representation of a female figure. Dominating the canvas is the face of a woman gazing directly at the observer, imparting an immediate and intimate connection. Matisse employs a restrained color palette, with prominent shades of blue and black outlining the figure’s features and attire. The background is painted in a light, almost wispy blue, allowing the subject to command attention through her central positioning.

Several distinguishing elements of the portrait include the black hat adorned with what appears to be floral embellishments, possibly violets, a common motif in Matisse’s work. The soft curvature of the hat juxtaposes with the more vigorous, bold strokes defining the subject’s clothing. The discernible black choker necklace and the white collar introduce additional contrasts in both texture and tone.

Matisse’s use of broad, seemingly spontaneous brushstrokes gives the work a sense of immediacy, while the lack of intricate detail contributes to the painting’s expressive character. The simplicity of the composition, along with the harmonious balance of colors and contours, exemplifies Matisse’s mastery of the portrait genre and his unique ability to capture the spirit of the individual.

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