Odalisque Au Coffret Rouge (1927) by Henri Matisse

Odalisque Au Coffret Rouge - Henri Matisse - 1927

Artwork Information

TitleOdalisque Au Coffret Rouge
ArtistHenri Matisse
Art MovementFauvism

About Odalisque Au Coffret Rouge

The artwork “Odalisque Au Coffret Rouge” by Henri Matisse was created in 1927 and is a noteworthy example of the Fauvism art movement. Classified as a nude painting (nu), this piece exemplifies Matisse’s vibrant use of color and innovative composition, both hallmarks of Fauvism.

The artwork features a reclining female figure, referred to as an odalisque, a motif commonly associated with orientalism in art. The woman is depicted lying leisurely on her side, supported by pillows and resting her head on her hand, with an expression that suggests deep contemplation or a sense of being lost in thought. She is clothed in a loosely draped garment in shades of blue, and her skin is rendered with a palette that indicates light and shadow without strict adherence to naturalistic color.

The background consists of vertical stripes in alternating colors, which give a sense of depth and decorative quality to the composition. In the foreground, a small table beside the figure holds a dish with fruit and a floral arrangement, adding a domestic and intimate atmosphere to the scene. A red box, the “coffret rouge” mentioned in the title, sits prominently beside her, creating a focal point with its vivid color against the otherwise pastel and muted tones of the composition. Matisse’s use of flat planes of color and bold outlines simplifies the forms and lends a modern, avant-garde character to the work.

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