Pink Shrimp (1921) by Henri Matisse

Pink Shrimp - Henri Matisse - 1921

Artwork Information

TitlePink Shrimp
ArtistHenri Matisse
Art MovementFauvism

About Pink Shrimp

The artwork “Pink Shrimp,” created by Henri Matisse in 1921, is a still life that exemplifies the exuberant color and emphasis on painterly qualities that are characteristic of the Fauvism movement. Matisse, as a leading figure of this movement, often employed vibrant colors and strong shapes to evoke emotional responses from the viewer.

In “Pink Shrimp,” the composition is dominated by a large plate of fresh shrimp, rendered in shades of pink and orange against the stark, contrasting colors of the vessel and the table. Matisse’s use of loose, gestural brushstrokes imbues the scene with a sense of immediacy and vitality. The white tablecloth, which partly drapes over the table’s edge, displays the interplay of light and shadow through folds and creases, further demonstrating Matisse’s interest in the dynamic qualities of everyday scenes.

Accompanying the plate of shrimp are other elements typical of a still life, such as a lemon slice and an oyster on the same plate, a bottle, and possibly a bowl containing a sauce or condiment. These are set against a richly colored background that has been divided into distinct planes of brown, teal, and red, enhancing the depth of the scene. The overhead perspective creates an intimate view of the laid table, inviting viewers to contemplate not only the visual but also the sensory experience—the taste, smell, and texture—of the depicted seafood.

Overall, the artwork resonates with Matisse’s ability to transform a common subject into a display of harmonious colors and forms that transcend its simple origins and speak to themes of beauty and pleasure inherent in daily life.

Other Artwork from Henri Matisse

More Fauvism Artwork

Scroll to Top