Woman in a Purple Coat (1937) by Henri Matisse

Woman in a Purple Coat - Henri Matisse - 1937

Artwork Information

TitleWoman in a Purple Coat
ArtistHenri Matisse
Dimensions81 x 65.2 cm
Art MovementExpressionism

About Woman in a Purple Coat

The artwork “Woman in a Purple Coat” is a creation by the esteemed artist Henri Matisse, completed in the year 1937. A classic example of Expressionism, this work is an oil on canvas that measures 81 by 65.2 centimeters. It falls under the genre of portraiture and exemplifies Matisse’s vivid use of color and bold patterns, a hallmark of his style during this period.

The artwork depicts a woman, captured in an interior setting, lounging in a chair with effortless grace. The woman’s purple coat is the centerpiece of the composition, with its stripes giving a rhythmic structure to the presentation. Matisse’s application of expressive, non-naturalistic colors, especially in the swirling patterns that make up the background, gives a dynamic backdrop to the figure. Prominent as well is a tabletop adorned with a vase of vivid yellow flowers that seem to echo the vibrancy of the woman’s attire. The round shapes of the fruit on the table contrast with the verticality of the stripes and the ornate patterns in the background. The inclusion of a magazine or brochure on the floor adds a touch of everyday life to the scene and suggests a narrative element to the woman’s pose and expression, which exudes a composed and thoughtful demeanor. Matisse’s use of flat planes of color and the flattening of space is evident, contributing to the notion that the painting is as much an exploration of color and form as it is a representation of a subject.

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