Woman with Oriental Dress (1919) by Henri Matisse

Woman with Oriental Dress - Henri Matisse - 1919

Artwork Information

TitleWoman with Oriental Dress
ArtistHenri Matisse
Dimensions40.8 x 32.7 cm
Art MovementExpressionism
Current LocationKelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, UK

About Woman with Oriental Dress

The artwork “Woman with Oriental Dress” by Henri Matisse was created in 1919 and is a testament to the Expressionism movement. Measuring 40.8 x 32.7 cm, this portrait can be found displayed at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow, UK. It captures the essence of its period with a bold and evocative representation of the subject.

In the artwork, the viewer is presented with the portrait of a woman dressed in an attire that suggests the influence of Orientalism, a popular theme in the early 20th century among European artists. Matisse utilizes vibrant colors and bold strokes, common within the Expressionist idiom to invoke emotional resonance rather than to offer a realistic depiction. The woman’s gaze is direct and engaging, drawing the viewer into a personal engagement with the subject.

Her dress is adorned with intricate patterns and embellishments typical of oriental design, and the distinct style of the hat also suggests an exotic influence. The background, albeit less detailed, complements her attire with shapes and colors that frame the subject’s visage, emphasizing her as the focal point. The palette consists of warm hues that contrast with the cooler tones of the background, further accentuating the portrait. This work is a reflection of Matisse’s interest in costume and textile design, exploring themes of femininity and cultural fashion.

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