Seated Figure, Tan Room (1918) by Henri Matisse

Seated Figure, Tan Room - Henri Matisse - 1918

Artwork Information

TitleSeated Figure, Tan Room
ArtistHenri Matisse
Art MovementExpressionism

About Seated Figure, Tan Room

The artwork titled “Seated Figure, Tan Room” is a creation of the renowned artist Henri Matisse, dating from the year 1918. This piece is attributed to the Expressionism movement and falls within the genre of nude painting (nu). It is a poignant example of Matisse’s style and his exploration of human form and interior space.

The artwork depicts a nude female figure seated in a wooden armchair that dominates the center of the composition. The subject is rendered with loose, expressive brushstrokes, capturing the essence of the model rather than delving into detailed realism. Matisse employs a bold palette with contrasting colors, utilizing tan and yellow to define the room’s background while the chair features shades of ochre and brown.

The figure herself is portrayed with a sense of volumetric mass, her pale skin standing out against the warm colors of the room and the earthy tones of the chair. Her facial features and hair are simplified yet evocative, with dark lines used to contour her figure and features, adding depth to her form. The figure’s gaze is indirect, not engaging directly with the viewer, which adds a sense of introspection to the piece.

In the background, vertical strokes suggest the texture of walls or curtains, and a small blue patch evokes the idea of a framed piece hanging on the wall. A narrow strip of red at the bottom edge of the painting may indicate the floor or a change of plane within the space. The combination of these elements creates a sense of a cohesive interior environment, in which the figure resides. The simplification of form, the strategic use of line and color, and the emotional resonance of the figure are all hallmarks of Matisse’s innovative approach to painting.

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