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Henri Matisse | Seated Woman, Back Turned to the Open Window, 1922

Author: Henri Matisse;
Title: Seated Woman, Back Turned to the Open Window, c. 1922 (Femme assise, le dos torné vers la fenêtre ouverte);
Medium and Dimensions: Oil on canvas. 73,3 x 92,50 cm;
Current location: The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Early in his career, Henri Matisse discovered the Mediterranean light that pulsates in his first Fauve paintings.
He became a regular visitor to the French Riviera, and as of 1917 stayed mainly in Nice, where this canvas was painted.
Behind the sitter, the sunlight and the deep blue of the Baie des Anges flood in through the wide-open window.

The palm trees and the sailboats strung out opposite the quay suggest the seaside holiday of an artist who has not lost the tourist’s sense of wonder.
A repoussoir foreground is provided by the model, who is posing in a studio that the artist has decorated with richly patterned Eastern fabrics.

After the war, Matisse reverted to a more classical-looking style that was in fact extremely decorative: the layout of this scene, hemmed in by emphatic bands, contrasts with the exquisite blue of the sea on the horizon, rendered in graduated shades.
This canvas is a fine example of his Nice period. | Source: © Montreal Museum of Fine Arts