The Moroccans (1915 – 1916) by Henri Matisse

The Moroccans - Henri Matisse - 1915 - 1916

Artwork Information

TitleThe Moroccans
ArtistHenri Matisse
Date1915 - 1916
Art MovementCubism
Current LocationMuseum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York City, NY, US

About The Moroccans

“The Moroccans” is an artwork by Henri Matisse completed between 1915 and 1916, using oil on canvas as the medium. This piece is categorized under the Cubism movement and is considered a genre painting. It is currently housed at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, NY, US.

The artwork presents a complex and vibrant tableau that consists of elements reminiscent of the North African country of Morocco. It exhibits the stylized and abstracted approach characteristic of Cubism, with disjointed forms and a reimagined perspective that challenges traditional depictions of space and dimension. The composition employs a bright and varied palette, including greens, oranges, and browns, that converge in a rhythmical fashion, suggesting different planes and objects interacting harmoniously yet with a distinctive lack of spatial consistency.

Foregrounded are rounded, voluminous forms that could be interpreted as fruits or pottery, employing bold and warm hues, positioned upon what could be seen as a geometrically patterned surface. Towards the middle and background, one can discern architectural features that hint at a balcony or terrace, as well as striped patterns, possibly referring to fabric or awnings. Within these segments, the impressions of human figures are abstracted to mere silhouettes or shapes, woven into the intricate arrangement of the scene. The work splendidly captures the essence of Cubism through fragmentation and reassembly of the observed world, providing multiple viewpoints within a single plane.

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