Henri Matisse

Nude. Black and Gold

Nude. Black and Gold
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Henri Matisse
Painting, Oil on canvas, 100x65 cm
Origin: France, 1908

"We can arrive at a state of inspired creation only through conscious work," wrote Matisse. In two Hermitage canvases, "Seated Woman" and "Nude. Study", we can see how Matise worked towards the final, majestic chord of this painting, "Nude. Black and Gold". Matisse was to choose this work to illustrate his writings on art.

The artist preserved the classical pose of the figure found in "Nude. Study", but he brought her forward, enlarged her, changing the angle just a little, making the model's figure the absolute centre of the canvas. The effect was to radically alter the spacial context. Removing the pale ground which created the illusion of space and the elements of an interior, the image of the woman has become not a depiction of a physical being, but something more profound and monumental.

Matisse used black and yellow to mould the figure, but the colours were not intended to represent light and shade; they exist independently, they are of formal, painterly, significance. The daring contrast of black and gold reminds one of old bronze, covered with the dark patina of time, through which comes the occasional gleam of gold.

Source of entry: State Museum of New Western Art, Moscow, 1948
Exibition: French Art: 19th - 20th centuries

See also

Henri Matisse - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Henri Matisse (31 December 1869 – 3 November 1954) was a French artist, known for his use of colour and his fluid, brilliant and original draughtsmanship. ...
WebMuseum: Matisse, Henri (-Émile-Benoît)
Provides a detailed overview of Matisse's career and his impact on the world of art.
Henri Matisse
"Henri Matisse was born in 1869, the year the Cutty Sark was launched. The year he died, 1954, the first hydrogen bomb exploded at Bikini Atoll. ...
Henri Matisse - Olga's Gallery
Collection of works of the French artist with biography.

Site map

Albums Authors Countries Sources Epoches Exibitions Genres
Personages Schools Styles Techniques Themes Types Workshops

Image Use Policy

Unless otherwise noted, images this web site may be used for any purpose without prior permission.

Any material in the public domain found on this web site is not protected by copyright.

We make no representations or warranties with respect to ownership of copyrights in the images, and do not represent others who may claim to be authors or owners of copyright of any of the images, and make no warranties as to the quality of the images.

We shall not be responsible for any loss or expenses resulting from the use of the images, and you release and hold us harmless from all liability arising from such use.

We do not sell art prints, framed posters or reproductions. Ads are shown only to compensate the hosting expenses.