Nu Aux Poissons Rouges (1922) by Henri Matisse

Nu Aux Poissons Rouges - Henri Matisse - 1922

Artwork Information

TitleNu Aux Poissons Rouges
ArtistHenri Matisse
Art MovementFauvism

About Nu Aux Poissons Rouges

The artwork “Nu Aux Poissons Rouges” by Henri Matisse, created in 1922, belongs to the Fauvism art movement. It is categorized as an interior and nude painting (nu). This piece is indicative of Matisse’s style during the era, showcasing a bold use of color and composition that became a hallmark of the Fauvist movement.

The artwork presents a female nude reclining comfortably in an interior setting, which is richly painted in warm tones. The figure holds a relaxed pose, with one hand resting behind her head and the other placed upon a striped, decorative textile, infusing the scene with a sense of domestic intimacy. Her physical form is depicted with a blend of naturalism and abstraction, using simplified shapes and flowing lines that emphasize the contours of her body.

In the background, elements of the domestic interior emerge. A bowl of goldfish, which appears to be the ‘Poissons Rouges’ referenced in the title, sits on a small table to the right of the figure, creating a focal point that guides the viewer’s eye through the composition. This bowl adds a vibrant splash of color and life to the scene, contrasting the subdued hues of the surrounding space.

Overall, the color palette is rich and varies throughout the canvas, with particular emphasis on contrasting warm hues and expressive brushwork. The use of dappled light and shade crafts a sense of dimension and warmth, while patterned elements, such as the rug beneath the figure and the decorative screen or wall hanging in the upper background, lend the scene complexity and textural interest. Matisse’s treatment of the human figure and space exemplifies the Fauvist interest in color, line, and the emotional resonance of a scene over strict representational accuracy.

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