Odalisque (1926) by Henri Matisse

Odalisque - Henri Matisse - 1926

Artwork Information

ArtistHenri Matisse
Dimensions74.5 x 55.5 cm
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationBaltimore Museum of Art (BMA), Baltimore, MD, US

About Odalisque

The artwork “Odalisque” was created by artist Henri Matisse in 1926. This oil on canvas painting, measuring 74.5 x 55.5 cm, belongs to the Post-Impressionism movement and can be classified in the genre of nude painting (nu). It retains its presence at the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) located in Baltimore, Maryland, United States.

This particular painting by Matisse showcases a reclining female figure, or odalisque, a term that refers to women in a harem. The artwork is saturated with Matisse’s characteristic use of bold color and simplified forms. The figure is depicted with minimal detailing, allowing the color and shape to convey her form against the rich background. Her pose is relaxed and contemplative, with one arm raised to her head, suggesting a moment of repose. The backdrop and her resting area are painted in vibrant, contrasting hues, with a distinct pattern depicting foliage evident on the wall to her side. Her attire and the draperies are rendered in a striking palette that reflects Matisse’s interest in orientalism and the decorative arts. The application of paint varies throughout the composition, creating a textural dynamism that adds depth and interest to the scene. Matisse’s use of colour, form, and pattern in this artwork emphasizes his departure from naturalism and highlights his contributions to modern art.

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