Nude with a White Towel (1902 – 1903) by Henri Matisse

Nude with a White Towel - Henri Matisse - 1902 - 1903

Artwork Information

TitleNude with a White Towel
ArtistHenri Matisse
Date1902 - 1903
Dimensions81 x 59.5 cm
Art MovementFauvism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Nude with a White Towel

The artwork “Nude with a White Towel” is an oil painting on canvas by Henri Matisse, created during the years 1902 to 1903. It is an exemplar of the Fauvist artistic movement, characterized by Matisse’s use of bold colors and strong painterly qualities. The painting measures 81 by 59.5 centimeters and falls within the genre of nude painting (nu). Currently, the artwork resides in a private collection.

The artwork depicts a standing female nude partially draped with a white towel, holding the towel with her left hand and touching her thigh with her right. Behind her, to the left, sits a dark, empty chair that contrasts with the vibrant colors of the background. The scene is set against a backdrop featuring a red wall to the left and a blue wall to the right, while a window partitioned into red and green panes adds a colorful contrast to the composition. Matisse’s use of non-naturalistic colors and loose brushwork contributes to the piece’s emotional expression, breaking away from traditional representational art and signifying a bold step towards modernism. His style in this painting reflects the Fauvist movement’s central characteristics, such as a sense of flattened space and the strategic use of vivid, non-representational color to convey feeling and atmosphere.

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