Reading Woman with Parasol (1921) by Henri Matisse

Reading Woman with Parasol - Henri Matisse - 1921

Artwork Information

TitleReading Woman with Parasol
ArtistHenri Matisse
Art MovementPost-Impressionism

About Reading Woman with Parasol

The artwork titled “Reading Woman with Parasol” is a creation of Henri Matisse, an esteemed artist known for his influence in the Post-Impressionist movement. Completed in 1921, this genre painting is realized through the use of oil on canvas. The piece exemplifies a distinctive style that aligns with the post-impressionistic pursuit of expressing emotions beyond the mere depiction of reality.

Upon observing the artwork, one can see a woman engrossed in reading, her attention fixed upon the open book before her. The surroundings appear to be outdoors, suggestive of a relaxed, leisurely environment, perhaps a garden or a park. The woman is seated, her posture indicative of deep concentration, with a parasol resting beside her; this along with the hat implies a sunny setting.

Matisse’s use of color in the painting is bold yet harmonious, demonstrating his affinity for strong, expressive hues that delineate the scene without strict adherence to naturalistic coloration. The lady’s attire and the accessories are rendered in vivid colors, with the yellow of her shawl and the green of her skirt immediately drawing the viewer’s eye, while the red necklace adds a striking contrast. The background is abstracted, with broad strokes of greens and browns indicating foliage and the presence of shadow. Overall, the painting exudes an air of tranquility and the quiet pleasure of reading in solitude.

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