Standing Moroccan in Green (Standing Riffian) (1913) by Henri Matisse

Standing Moroccan in Green (Standing Riffian) - Henri Matisse - 1913

Artwork Information

TitleStanding Moroccan in Green (Standing Riffian)
ArtistHenri Matisse
Art MovementExpressionism
Current LocationHermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia

About Standing Moroccan in Green (Standing Riffian)

The artwork titled “Standing Moroccan in Green (Standing Riffian)”, created by the esteemed artist Henri Matisse in 1913, is an oil on canvas rendering that is a part of the Expressionism movement. This portrait is cherished within the collection of the Hermitage Museum located in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Its form and content adhere to the aesthetic principles of its period, characterized by a subjective perspective and an emphasis on emotional experience.

In the artwork, the viewer is met with a visibly expressive study of a figure in rich, vibrant colors. The subject appears to be a Moroccan, as per the title, who stands against a cool, predominantly blue background which creates a stark contrast with the green tones that dress the figure. The green itself is a flat, vivid shade and is applied in a way that eschews intricate detail in favor of bold, broad brushstrokes. The person’s attire is notable, featuring decorative elements like the yellow and red pops of color resembling either embroidery or jewelry, which contrast sharply against the larger green fields.

The figure’s gaze is intense and direct, engaging the viewer with a look that conjures a sense of immediacy. The facial features, while simplified, carry the signature of Matisse’s style, marked by the use of color and form to evoke the sitter’s presence rather than a detailed, realistic representation. The artist’s use of color is notable in the subject’s face, where yellows and oranges stand out against a paler shade, further solidifying the image’s arresting emotional quality. The posture and bearing of the figure suggest a certain strength and dignity, consistent with Matisse’s interest in capturing the essence of his sitters.

Overall, the artwork is emblematic of Matisse’s ingenuity in bridging color, composition, and emotion, a hallmark of his contribution to the Expressionist movement and modern art as a whole.

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