National Gallery of Art Henri Matisse's signature  
Henri Matisse Navigation barThe Wild BeastsAn Open WindowInfluencesFauve GalleryFrom Fauve Forward Henri Matisse's signature Previous Page Next page
The Fauves Henri Matisse  
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


Instead of imitating nature, they have their own, almost abstract logic. Matisse was composing paintings, not just painting things. Color was how he conceived and structured his image. It does not simply convey what he saw—the boats, the vine growing around the balcony, the window panes—but is also decorative pattern in its own right.

Construction by colored surfaces. Search for intensity of color, subject matter being unimportant. Reaction against the diffusion of local tone in light. Light...expressed by a harmony of intensely colored surfaces.

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