The Closed Window (1919) by Henri Matisse

The Closed Window - Henri Matisse - 1919

Artwork Information

TitleThe Closed Window
ArtistHenri Matisse

About The Closed Window

The artwork titled “The Closed Window” was created by Henri Matisse in 1919. With its interior genre, it offers a glimpse into Matisse’s interpretation of an intimate space, as well as his command of color and form.

“The Closed Window” by Matisse features a perspective looking outward from an interior space toward the view beyond a closed window. The composition is one of contrasts and containment, where the interior elements frame the view of the exterior world. The window, which occupies the central part of the artwork, showcases panes that segment the view into slices, revealing a scene that includes the sky at twilight or dawn, punctuated by the subtle silhouettes of trees or shrubbery in the mid-distance. A soft gradient of color in the sky suggests the subtle shifts of light common during the transitional times of day.

At the forefront, there is a strong presence of vertical and horizontal lines which give a feeling of stability and structure to the composition. The interior is marked by a curtain pulled to the side, its folds gently casting shadows, and texturally contrasting with a plant situated to the right, having a series of elongated leaves. On the lower part, a bright red rug with a geometric pattern draws attention, providing a warm anchor to the cooler blues and greens that dominate the scene.

Matisse’s distinctive brushwork and use of color create a sense of harmony within the composition, as well as a certain flatness, a signature characteristic of his style. The somewhat muted yet strategically applied color palette offers depth and invites contemplation, making “The Closed Window” not just a representation of a place but an exploration of the feeling and mood evoked by that place.

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