Henri Matisse - Luxury, Serenity and Pleasure 1905

Henri Matisse - Luxury, Serenity and Pleasure 1905
Luxury, Serenity and Pleasure
1905 98x118cm oil/canvas
Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

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Study for Luxury, Serenity and Pleasure
Study for
Luxury, Serenity and Pleasure
1904 32x40cm oil/canvas
New York City The Museum of Modern Art

From the New York City The Museum of Modern Art:
Matisse made this painting in the south of France, in the town of Saint-Tropez, while vacationing with family and friends. The forms in the painting—the figures, tree, bush, sea and sky—are created from spots of color, jabs of the brush that build up the picture. Matisse favored discrete strokes of color that emphasized the painted surface rather than a realistic scene. He also used a palette of pure, high-pitched primary colors (blue, green, yellow, and orange) to render the landscape, and then outlined the figures in blue. The painting takes its title, which means “Richness, calm, and pleasure,” from a line by the 19th-century poet Charles Baudelaire, and it shares the poem’s subject: escape to an imaginary, tranquil refuge.
Matisse said, “What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter.”1 Matisse wasn’t interested in conflict or politics. This is an early painting by Matisse, and yet the idea of balance and serenity found here would remain a consistent theme in his work throughout the next 50 years.