Standing Nude (1947) by Henri Matisse

Standing Nude - Henri Matisse - 1947

Artwork Information

TitleStanding Nude
ArtistHenri Matisse
Art MovementExpressionism

About Standing Nude

The artwork titled “Standing Nude” created by Henri Matisse in 1947 belongs to the Expressionism movement and is categorized under the genre of nude painting (nu). This piece reflects Matisse’s characteristic use of vibrant colors and expressive lines to convey emotion and the essence of the subject.

The artwork showcases a single figure, a nude female model standing upright in a room. Dominated by contrasting colors, the composition is split into sections of bold red background, a vibrant green patterned floor, and a bright blue chair that presents itself to the side of the model. The figure itself is portrayed with simplified forms, lacking elaborate detail but maintaining a sense of volume and roundness through the use of contour lines and shading.

Matisse’s approach to form and color in this piece typifies his expressionist sensibilities, where the representation of reality is less important than evoking an emotional response. The use of unmodulated colors, with minimal spatial depth, endows the piece with a flat, almost two-dimensional quality that underscores the emotional rather than the realistic portrait of the human form. The use of non-naturalistic colors and distorted perspective are clear indicators of Matisse’s departure from traditional figuration, steering away from naturalism towards a more subjective representation of reality.

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