Woman in Turban (Lorette) (1917) by Henri Matisse

Woman in Turban (Lorette) - Henri Matisse - 1917

Artwork Information

TitleWoman in Turban (Lorette)
ArtistHenri Matisse
Date1917
Art MovementExpressionism
Current LocationBaltimore Museum of Art (BMA), Baltimore, MD, US

About Woman in Turban (Lorette)

The artwork “Woman in Turban (Lorette)” by Henri Matisse, created in 1917, is a quintessential example of the Expressionism art movement. As a portrait, it is an evocative piece rich in style and emotional impact that resides in the Baltimore Museum of Art, located in Baltimore, MD, US.

This artwork presents a female figure portrayed with a gentle economy of detail that emphasizes the expressive potential of form and color over realistic representation. The woman is adorned with a white turban that frames her face and contrasts with the darker tones of her hair. Her garment, rendered in light hues, drapes her torso, softly folding with the suggestion of volume. Matisse has utilized a palette dominated by greens and blues, juxtaposed with the warmth of the subject’s skin and the wooden backrest of the chair in which she sits. The background, an unembellished expanse of green, serves to isolate and focus attention on the figure herself.

The woman’s facial features are simplified yet striking, with eyes that gaze directly at the viewer, invoking a sense of connection. The use of line is both fluid and assertive, contributing to a sense of inner life or spirit that the portrait endeavors to encapsulate. Matisse’s confident handling of paint and his vivid color choices are characteristic of the exploratory approach of Expressionists, who sought to convey emotional experience rather than physical reality. In this piece, the artist has created a portrait that is less about a faithful visual account and more about the conveyance of an impression or sensation, reflecting the essence of the portrayed individual through the lens of Matisse‚Äôs unique artistic vision.

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