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Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse

On the contrary, Henri Matisse uses no tonal forms in red studio painting; his usual use of pattern is actually not a fundamental part of this painting as in the Willen de Kooning’s painting. Matisse uses a negligible palette in the ‘Red Studio’ painting. Furthermore, he uses a flower pattern that is an extremely pre-dominant decoration and repetition in the painting. There is also the replication of the rectangles from the frames and pictures in the studio that are evident throughout the masterpiece.

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Although throughout the history of painting, art imitation has favored over all else, in “The Red Studio” of 1911, Henri Matisse shattered all these expectations and norms when he depicted a room with only red color. All his painting work inclines towards bold lines and outlines an all-encompassing unapologetic color. ‘The Red Studio’ is essentially shielded in a deep, invigorating and rich red color that contains slight variations within it. This certainly does not change in saturation or hue. On the red background, Henri Matisse made several thin white lines so as to indicate a distinction among the objects in that room.

Instead of painting a line between the two congregating planes at the corner of the walls, Henri Matisse places an enormous painting at the corner in a straight line to where the planar shift takes place. This painting makes it clear that even though the line between the wall and the floor is certainly useful in telling the onlooker exactly where a plane begins and another ends, Henri Matisse would actually be able to represent a convincing three-dimensional solid.

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Henri Matisse when painting ‘The Red Studio’ profoundly obscures spatial illusion in that painting by demonstrating how an ordinary line and color can be simultaneously used to suppress and to depict the three dimensions of the room. In this painting, there is an exceptionally clear and solid sense of perspective despite its eccentric rendering. In size, all the objects in this painting seem to all rest firmly on the ground plane and in many ways contain mass despite them being mere outlines of forms. Henri Matisse managed to apply a thin white paint that differentiates the wall and the ground.

When comparing the overall size of the ‘Woman I’ painting by Willen De Kooning with that of Henri Matisse, there is a notable distinction. The ‘Woman I’ painting is 75 by 58 inches, while ‘The Red Studio’ by Henri Matisse is 71 by 72 inches or approximately 180 by 120 centimeters. De Kooning painted ‘Woman I’ the same way he painted ‘Two Women,’ but he never modified his technique to adapt to different materials and scales. For instance, the lines of ‘Woman I’ are uneven and short. This is because the size of the drawing made the quick linking difficult (Hauser 105).

In contrast, the size of ‘The Red Studio’ was largely influenced by Matisse’s past use of realistic studios by Bazille and Courbet. The entwining and tying together of the objects in the painting made ‘The Red Studio’ appear smaller compared to the ‘Woman I’ painting. In addition, Henri Matisse reduced the floor and the walls into the one uninterrupted sheet of uniform red. The flatness on the painting was a reflection of the cubist style that was essentially happening during the Henri Matisse’s time (Gombrich 76). The red color totally exhumes the whole space without allowing any contrast between the dark and light.

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It is unquestionable that paintings of these two artists left a legacy and a considerable influence on the painting history. The achievement of De Kooning has been credited to have blend expressionism, surrealism and cubism. Despite having a contrasting experience in the painting field, these two artists represent an epitome of grand heroics they both disbelieved. Their painting works remain vital and influential even in the modern society, especially to those attracted to gestural styles.

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