Madam Matisse- (the Green Line)

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The Artwork.

‘Madam Matisse' is a rather famous portrait of Matisse's wife, and is a great example of a fauvist artwork, using many bold, bright and contrasting colours throughout the painting. This painting was created using oil and tempura on canvas; tempera being a glutinous water-soluble material such as egg yolk, which is added to painting medium. The paint has been applied in bold, thick and vigorous brushstrokes, in several layers, along with added texture. The green line in the centre of Madam Matisse's face has been well placed as a shadow line, and also in order to prevent the face from sinking into the strong flat colours in the background. The face is also divided into a warm, and cool side, and the brushstrokes also add to the more expressive and creative nature of this painting (rather then realistic).

The Artist.

Henri Matisse was born as the son of a grain merchant in France 1869, and only found his love of art, and his talents at 21yrs of age, beginning to paint after becoming seriously ill. This love of art stayed with him for the rest of his life. After attending a few art classes and being influenced by various post-impressionists and impressionists such as Picasso and Van Gogh, Henri Matisse found his own individual style and became the founding ‘father' of fauvism. The use of bright and bold colours within his paintings became possible by developments in paint and the newly available bright colours. This portrait was painted in Paris, 1905, during the modern period.

Through this painting, Matisse attempts to express varying emotions surrounding the subject matter (his wife) mainly through the colours used within the portrait. He uses many bright and bold colours, possibly representing the strong feelings towards his wife (warm colours representing love and passion); many red, pink, orange and yellow shades are used within this example. The painting also depicts the fauve movement quite well, its aim to express emotion and energy...
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