Henri Matisse’s painting, The Red Madras Headdress (also known as Mme Matisse: Madras Rouge), is an important piece that demonstrates the artist’s mastery of color and style. Completed in 1907, the painting depicts Matisse’s wife, Amélie Noellie Parayre Matisse, wearing a vibrant red and green headdress. This portrait features a figure with no spatial depth and abbreviated hands and facial features.
The Red Madras Headdress showcases Matisse’s unique style which uses brilliant and often unrealistic areas of flat color. The colors in the painting are vividly bold with harsh contrasts that create strong visual impact. Being influenced by Post-Impressionists like Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Cézanne allow him to explore more innovative approaches to painting.
Matisse believed his wife was perfect for modeling due to her elegance and distinctive fashion choices. For several years he used her as a model for different paintings like this one – showcasing how much of an influence she had on his art.
Today, you can view The Red Madras Headdress at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia as part of their impressive collection of artworks. This iconic piece by Henri Matisse remains an important contribution to modern art history that depicts not only his unique abilities but also elegant femininity during that era.