The Bay of Tangier (1912) by Henri Matisse

The Bay of Tangier - Henri Matisse - 1912

Artwork Information

TitleThe Bay of Tangier
ArtistHenri Matisse

About The Bay of Tangier

“The Bay of Tangier” is an evocative cityscape created by the artist Henri Matisse in the year 1912. This artwork embodies the characteristic vibrancy and boldness of Matisse’s style, with a palette that incorporates a range of colors applied with confident, expressive brushwork.

The artwork offers a panoramic view of Tangier, capturing the essence and atmosphere of the coastal city. In the foreground, the city unfolds with buildings rendered in bright, flat colors, indicative of the artist’s move towards a more simplified depiction of form. The architecture is delineated using loose brush strokes, favoring the impression of the urban landscape over detailed representation.

Matisse’s vision of the city is not confined to its architecture; the artwork extends to the bay itself, which is depicted in sweeping, curvilinear strokes of lush green and blue, suggesting the movement of water. A single boat is discernible, its form simplified and integrated into the tapestry of colors that delineate the sea.

The sky above carries streaks of dark and lighter hues that contrast with the vividness of the landscape below, giving a sense of depth to the work. Overall, the artwork combines elements of both figuration and abstraction, revealing Matisse’s interest in color and form that defined much of his work during this period. Through “The Bay of Tangier,” Matisse transports the viewer to a sensorially rich world that is both grounded in the real and elevated by the artist’s imaginative vision.

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