©Henri Matisse - Seated Woman 1908

Henri Matisse - Seated Woman 1908
Seated Woman
1908 80x52cm oil/canvas
Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia

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From the State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia:
This canvas dates to 1908, the year in which "The Red Room" and "A Game of Bowls" were painted. Here we see how the artist applied his discoveries in the spheres of colour, drawing and composition to the nude body. A black outline runs round the large, relaxed figure, the greenish-yellow colour creating a feeling of natural light in the life drawing class or studio. The outline is now clear, now breaks off, now almost totally disappears but does not act as a barrier between the light and the body, its mass revealed through a skilful use of light and shade. The black contour and black shadow reinforce the warmth of the woman's body. This sitter appears in a number of Matisse's works from 1908, three alone in the Hermitage collection.