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 Open Window, Collioure detail by Henri Matisse
Open Window, Collioure detail 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


To maximize the intensity of his colors—and achieve the light he was looking for—Matisse organized his picture with pairs of complements. Orange masts rise from blue hulls. Potted plants on the balcony sprout red blossoms amid green foliage. Reflections oppose pink and turquoise, and in the walls these colors are reversed and deepened. Isolated by bare areas of canvas, these combinations generate a sort of visual vibration.

Because in composing Open Window Matisse largely used red, blue, and greens—in different forms—he enhanced the effect of light. These are the additive primaries—the wavelengths of orange-red, blue-violet, and green that combine to make white light.

Previous pageNext page



terms of use | home | Go to our page on Facebook Go to our page on Twitter