The Toboggan (1943) by Henri Matisse

The Toboggan - Henri Matisse - 1943

Artwork Information

TitleThe Toboggan
ArtistHenri Matisse
Art MovementAbstract Expressionism

About The Toboggan

The artwork, titled “The Toboggan,” was created by Henri Matisse in 1943 as part of his “Jazz Book” series. It is an illustration that falls within the genre of abstract expressionism, a movement that foregrounds the artist’s freedom to express emotions and ideas through non-representational forms. Matisse’s work from this period is often characterized by its vibrant color and bold patterns.

Examining the artwork, one can observe its abstract composition dominated by flat areas of bright, unmodulated color. The central figure, rendered in a striking shade of blue, appears to be in a fluid state of motion, possibly sliding or tumbling down the colorful slopes that frame it. The visual flow and dynamism of the figure evoke the sensation of movement and possibly reference the playful action of tobogganing, as suggested by the title. Surrounding elements that seem to represent natural forms or explosions of energy are depicted in red and yellow hues, contrasting sharply with the solid green and deep purple backdrop. These elements are arrayed in a manner that suggests a landscape turned abstract, where the figure’s relationship with the environment is left open to interpretation. The overall boldness of the composition and its abstract forms align with the key principles of abstract expressionism, compelling the viewer to respond to the work on an emotional and subjective level rather than seeking out a clear narrative.

Other Artwork from Henri Matisse

More Abstract Expressionism Artwork

Scroll to Top