The Persian Robe (1940) by Henri Matisse

The Persian Robe - Henri Matisse - 1940

Artwork Information

TitleThe Persian Robe
ArtistHenri Matisse
Art MovementFauvism

About The Persian Robe

“The Persian Robe,” created by Henri Matisse in 1940, is a genre painting that embodies the characteristics of the Fauvism art movement. This artwork exemplifies the use of strong colors and the simplification of forms, hallmarks of Fauvism.

The artwork features a seated woman dressed in a striped garment that suggests a Persian robe, by virtue of its title. She appears contemplative or in a state of repose, with her hand to her cheek and her gaze directed away from the viewer. To her immediate right is a vividly patterned floral arrangement in a green vase, resting on a table that also holds an assortment of brightly colored fruit. Elements of domestic life, such as the table setting, are rendered with non-naturalistic colors and bold outlines, contributing to a vibrant interior atmosphere.

In the background, the walls are painted in deep blues and purples, forming a stark contrast with the yellow chair and the orange decorative object, which could be interpreted as a ceramic vessel or lamp. The varying textures, patterns, and hues of the objects depicted, together with the woman’s clothing, are indicative of Matisse’s interest in textiles and decorative elements. The artwork is characterized by a loose, almost sketch-like quality in the brushwork, lending it a sense of immediacy and emotional intensity. Overall, “The Persian Robe” showcases Matisse’s mastery in blending color, pattern, and form to evoke mood and character, without resorting to detailed representation.

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