Art History

New Matisse to Celebrate the Artist’s Birthday

Henri Matisse, the French artist known for his contribution as one of the Fauves at the turn of the twenty-first century, would have celebrated his birthday on December 31st. Fauvism is the movement that favored strong color and dramatization over a realistic depiction. It lasted only a few years but influenced many of the modern artists that followed. To celebrate this master’s birthday, we are introducing some new pieces form his collection into our Matisse gallery.


Henri Matisse-The Red Studio

The Red Studio features negative gaps in the red surface to indicate the room’s architecture and furnishings. The central axis of The Red Room is a grandfather clock without hands, as if the time in the oasis of the artist’s studio is suspended. It is the wall’s bright red color that makes it a good example of Matisse’s style and will brighten up any room in your home or office.

Henri Matisse-Woman Beside the Water

The figure in Woman Beside the Water is barely distinguishable from the surrounding landscape, and with how fierce the color and brushworks were, it sparked a lot of criticism from many a critic. Namely, Louis Vauxcelles, to call Matisse and his fellow painters, ‘les fauves’ which translate to, “wild beasts”, a name that later lent the movement known as Fauvism.

Henri Matisse-Entrance to the Kasbah

The keyhole motif that Entrance to the Kasbah depicts seems at first, unique to the artist’s work, until one realizes that it’s just another view of the landscape. The painting is exclusively concerned with rendering a tightly defined architectural space as seen under the violent contrasts of light and shade typical of North Africa where the colors function accordingly.

Henri Matisse-The Blue Window

A clue is hidden within The Blue Window, offering up how he made it and what the subject is. A grey squared mirror is known as a Claude mirror that is slightly convex, that artists sometimes use to view a landscape. It darkened the color and simplified the forms within the scene.

Henri Matisse-Belle lle (Le Port De Palais)

Belle Lle (Le Port De Palais) is water-based landscape, where men sit upon a boat, steering into the vast sea side. The bright, vivid colors portray happiness but also shows that life can be more than one shade of color. It is the dramatized version of life that Fauvism is known for at its best.

Henri Matisse-Young Sailor II

A young sailor spotted by Matisse, who immediately wanted him for a portrait and thus created Young Sailor II. The young man’s name was Germain Augustin Barthelemy Montarges and he was about 18 years old at the time of the portrait. The overall palette may be narrow, with the same blue paint being used for both the cap and coat, but the bright green trousers look stunning in comparison against the light pink background. No clash of color here and the combinations make for a stunning fauvist example.


If you are a fan of this modern painter, you can celebrate by purchasing one of these or any of the others in the Matisse gallery we offer. They make wonderful gifts or expressions of artistic passion. Add a stunning new piece to freshen up your art collection today.

About the Author

Amanda graduated from the University of Kansas, where she studied English literature and got a masters degree in library sciences. She enjoys reading, cooking and playing with her nephews. Her best friend is her little dog Brady.