Henri Matisse - Bathers with a Turtle 1908

Henri Matisse - Bathers with a Turtle 1908
Bathers with a Turtle
1908 179x220cm oil/canvas
St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MI, USA

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From the Saint Louis Art Museum :
Three nude women on a featureless green beach congregate awkwardly around a brown turtle. The bathers' attentions, both to the diminutive creature on the ground and to each other, are compromised by their self-absorbed postures and lack of eye contact.
Simple and abstract, this monumental composition is a radical reworking of Three Bathers, a smaller painting that Matisse completed during the previous year. The details present in the earlier work-the sailboats, the bathers' towels, and the radiant hues of Mediterranean summer- have been replaced by three strips of muted color, which represent land, water, and sky.