Seated Riffian (Le Rifain assis) (1912) by Henri Matisse

Seated Riffian (Le Rifain assis) - Henri Matisse - 1912 - 1913

Artwork Information

TitleSeated Riffian (Le Rifain assis)
ArtistHenri Matisse
Date1912 - 1913
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions200 x 160 cm
Art MovementExpressionism
Current LocationBarnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA, US

About Seated Riffian (Le Rifain assis)

The artwork “Seated Riffian (Le Rifain assis)” is a distinguished painting by Henri Matisse, completed during the years of 1912-1913. Executed in oil on canvas, this expressionist piece measures 200 by 160 cm and portrays a portrait genre. Currently, the artwork resides within the collection of the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, PA, United States.

The artwork features a male figure seated against a vividly colored background. The subject, garbed in an ornate robe with richly adorned trim and decorated with colorful pompoms, exudes a sense of calm and collected poise. Matisse’s mastery in the use of expressive color is prominently displayed through the contrast of the warm reds of the floor and seat against the cooler blues and greens that define the background and the subject’s attire. The figure’s hands are gently folded over each other, resting on his lap, which along with his frontally positioned pose, contributes to the sense of stillness and composure.

Characteristic of Matisse’s style during this period, the delineation of space and form is simplified. Facial features and bodily contours are rendered with bold, defining lines that emphasize form over detail, further illustrating the expressionist intent to convey emotion and subjective interpretation rather than realistic representation. The use of flat planes of color illustrates Matisse’s departure from traditional perspective, opting instead to explore the dynamic interplay between color, shape, and space, marking his contribution to the evolution of modern art during the early 20th century.

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