Open Window at Etretat (1920 – 1921) by Henri Matisse

Open Window at Etretat - Henri Matisse - 1920 - 1921

Artwork Information

TitleOpen Window at Etretat
ArtistHenri Matisse
Date1920 - 1921
Art MovementFauvism

About Open Window at Etretat

The artwork titled “Open Window at Etretat” is a creation by the renowned artist Henri Matisse, which he completed between 1920 and 1921. This piece is recognized as part of the Fauvism art movement, known for its vibrant brushwork and expressive use of color. The work falls within the landscape genre and captures the view from a window, serving as a prime example of Matisse’s pioneering forays into the visual language of modernism.

In this artwork, Henri Matisse portrays a view from an open window looking out onto a beach at Etretat. The perspective is framed by the dark green casement of the window that anchors the composition. Beyond the threshold, a vivid beach scene unfolds under a dynamic sky filled with expressive cloud formations. The beach is dotted with boats, their forms simplified and painted with thick, bold strokes that convey their solid presence and the bright light of the coastal environment.

The palette is composed of lush blues, purples, and yellows, invoking a joyful and almost surreal atmosphere that transcends the quotidian. Through the interplay of light and color, Matisse masterfully captures the essence of the scene, leaning on the emotive power of color to communicate the experience of the place, a testament to the essence of the Fauvist movement. The textural application of paint and the simplified geometric treatment of form harmonize to create a tapestry that is as much an evocation of mood as it is a representation of a physical location.

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