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Open Window, Collioure by Henri Matisse
 
Henri Matisse, Open Window, Collioure, 1905, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney 1998.74.7

 

An Open Window

Open Window, Collioure is among the very first fauve works. It was painted during the summer of 1905, when Matisse, together with André Derain, worked in the small Mediterranean fishing port of Collioure, near the Spanish border.

When I put a green, it is not grass. When I put a blue, it is not the sky.
—Matisse

The view is full of light, inviting and vibrant. Through the window, small boats bob on pink waves under a sky banded with turquoise, pink, and periwinkle. This scene, reflected in the glass, melts into rectangles of smeary green, watery cyclamen, and lilac. The surrounding walls are fuchsia and blue-green—these are hardly the colors of nature.



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