Nu Accoudé (1919) by Henri Matisse

Nu Accoudé - Henri Matisse - 1919

Artwork Information

TitleNu Accoudé
ArtistHenri Matisse

About Nu Accoudé

The artwork “Nu Accoudé” is a creation of esteemed artist Henri Matisse, dating back to 1919. As a representative of the nude painting genre, this piece embodies the aesthetic principles and stylistic tendencies typical of the era and Matisse’s exploration of form and color.

Upon examining the artwork, one is met with the depiction of a reclining female nude, composed with a loose, almost sketch-like quality. The artwork’s palette is characterized by a limited yet bold selection of colors, with prominence given to neutral tones accented by stark contrasts of red and yellow. The subject’s form is rendered with fluid, curvilinear strokes, lending an air of casual intimacy to the scene.

The background of the artwork is divided into blocks of color, featuring a deep red segment beside a greyish hue, providing a stark backdrop that serves to highlight the central figure. Matisse’s brushwork conveys a sense of immediacy, employing a minimalistic approach to detail that nonetheless captures the essence of the human form and the contemplative mood of the subject.

Her gaze, directed outward, invites contemplation, bridging the world of the spectator with the interiority of the artwork. The figure rests her head gently on one hand, while the other hand lies on her thigh, a posture embodying both repose and latent energy. The overall composition, while reflecting a certain simplicity, evokes a profound engagement with the idea of form, color, and the human figure that is emblematic of Matisse’s oeuvre.

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