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Woman With the Hat by Henri Matisse

Uploaded by Nategrey on Jan 08, 2006

Henri Matisse
Woman With the Hat, 1905
Oil on Canvas 31’ x 23.5’
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Henri Matisse’s Woman with a Hat (1905, is on display at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Woman with a Hat is a classic fauve extravaganza of wild color. It is oil on canvas; 31.75 by 35.5 inches. The first thing one notices about the painting is the color, it’s everywhere. The painting looks like a splattering of garish color. Green stands out instantly, as it dominates a good deal of the composition. The image of Madam Matisse almost becomes secondary to the color experience.

The lines are thick and yet undefined. There is a black contour line that runs from the left on her arm across her back and up past her ear and hair to her hat. On the first curve of the hat, a thicker blue line replaces the black line and continues across the hat’s outline, intermittently interrupted by regions of black. When the hat ends on the other side of her face, a rather thin black line forms again. This line is not so defined as a line per say, as it is a separation between the colors of her face and the green of the background. This small line continues around her face and helps to define her jaw line, her hair, and her ear. Below her face the line becomes more defined and increases in width and thickness as it sweeps down the edge of the fan. It is abruptly ended by a thick and conspicuous white line jetting diagonally downward at the end of the fan, which puts and end to the body. Beyond this line, there are no more definite lines to speak of; the colors themselves take over in the absence of line in the painting’s bottom right quadrant.

Matisse gives us his wife in an hourglass shape. Her body is hidden behind her fan; we see only her arm and torso. She appears wide at the bottom half of the portrait. Her shape causes the viewers’ eyes to wander up over the fan toward her neck, the narrowest, and also one of the brightest, parts of the painting. Her face is oval and contributes to the impression of a triangular upsweep...

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Uploaded by:   Nategrey

Date:   01/08/2006

Category:   Art And Music

Length:   7 pages (1,502 words)

Views:   7526

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