White Clouds, the Old Port of Marseille (1917) by Henri Matisse

White Clouds, the Old Port of Marseille - Henri Matisse - 1917

Artwork Information

TitleWhite Clouds, the Old Port of Marseille
ArtistHenri Matisse

About White Clouds, the Old Port of Marseille

The artwork titled “White Clouds, the Old Port of Marseille” by Henri Matisse was created in 1917 and falls within the landscape genre. It presents a view that captures the essence of the Old Port of Marseille, animated by the presence of sailing vessels and framed by vast, expressive skies.

In this particular landscape, the artwork displays a harbor scene dominated by a palette of blues, greens, and earth tones. Large, billowing white clouds loom over the port, occupying a significant portion of the canvas and providing a dynamic contrast to the deep blue sky. Below, the masts of sailing ships stand erect, reaching towards the clouds. The waterfront is structured, yet rendered with a sense of fluidity and quick, painterly strokes, typical of Matisse’s style. The water reflects the tones of the sky, while the buildings along the port suggest a bustling maritime setting. The scene conveys a lively yet tranquil atmosphere, characteristic of the Mediterranean coast. Matisse’s use of color and loose brushwork imbues the scene with energy and light, capturing a momentary yet eternal aspect of the Old Port of Marseille.

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