The Ostrich Feather Hat (1918) by Henri Matisse

The Ostrich Feather Hat - Henri Matisse - 1918

Artwork Information

TitleThe Ostrich Feather Hat
ArtistHenri Matisse
Art MovementPost-Impressionism

About The Ostrich Feather Hat

The artwork “The Ostrich Feather Hat” is a portrait created by Henri Matisse in 1918, belonging to the Post-Impressionism movement. Its creation during a period that celebrated individualistic style and expression is inherent in its execution. As a genre, the portrait captures the essence of the sitter through Matisse’s distinctive use of color and form.

The artwork depicts a female figure seated against a background that exhibits a muted color palette. The woman is dressed in attire that seems to belong to the early 20th century, with a dark dress that features a broad, white collar. Her gaze is directed toward the viewer, and her facial expression is composed yet holds a trace of contemplativeness. A striking feature is her hat, adorned with what the title describes as an ostrich feather, which provides a sense of movement and an almost whimsical quality to the otherwise solemn portrait. Matisse’s use of broad, flat areas of color and a loose, expressive outline is evident in this work. He utilizes contrasts, such as the dark, structured lines of the dress against the softer, more fluid textures and patterns of the chair and cushion, to create visual interest. Despite the simplification of form, there is an undeniable depth in the subject’s presence, representative of Matisse’s skill in capturing the human essence beyond mere physical appearance.

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