Standing Nude With Raised Arms (1947) by Henri Matisse

Standing Nude With Raised Arms - Henri Matisse - 1947

Artwork Information

TitleStanding Nude With Raised Arms
ArtistHenri Matisse
Art MovementExpressionism

About Standing Nude With Raised Arms

Henri Matisse’s “Standing Nude With Raised Arms” is a striking work of art completed in 1947 that is aligned with the Expressionism movement. Matisse is known for his bold use of color and fluid draughtsmanship, and this nude painting (nu) exemplifies his prowess in capturing the human form in a non-traditional but expressive manner.

The artwork features a full-length depiction of a nude figure with arms reaching upward. The subject’s pose suggests a sense of freedom or abandon, with the gesture invoking a feeling of either stretching or perhaps even a dance. Matisse has used line with economic precision, allowing the contours of the body to emerge with a sense of elegance and fluidity. The use of color is subdued yet impactful with contrasts that define the space around the figure, such as the reddish tone of the chair strongly placed in the foreground and the patterned window treatment to the left. The background is divided into sections of different hues which provide a warm, abstracted environment that focuses attention on the central figure.

The simplicity of composition and the abstracted form are indicative of Matisse’s expressionist approach, where the emotional content and individual perception take precedence over realism. The painting communicates more through its form and color than through detailed representation, which is characteristic of Matisse’s mature style.

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