The Attic Studio Henri Matisse Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Henri-Emile-Benoit Matisse was a French painter known for his great work in painting. One of the many paintings he worked on was the Attic Studio. He did this work above his father's house. This was a very trying time in his life as he was suffering from economical stress.

On the painting, you can see that he was trying to bring out the image of the studio he was working in by the structures of the room and the angles used. In the painting, you can see an open window, a workplace, and an empty bench. The structure of the building on the painting shows that the room he was working on was indeed an attic.

The work on the painting has many faults when you compare it to Matisse's previous paintings as the color was a bit dull compared to the previous paintings and the concentration on trying to bring out the image of the room as accurately as he could be was not as accurate as his other paintings. The empty surface with only a bench and his workplace might have been used to bring out the emptiness that Matisse felt at this low moment in his life. Perhaps this was a result of the somber mode he was in due to his economic constraints thus this mood was reflected in his work.

Another of the notable changes that can be seen in this painting is the drawing of the open window. This had not been previously seen in his earlier paintings but he started using it on his other paintings while working on canvas. The open window is the painter trying to show us how he views the world as you can see a landscape outside the window. A theme is brought out by the open window and the frame of the window is that this is the only contact he has to the outside world while doing his work.

This was the first painting that introduced the work of the studio series that he did later on so it is safe to say that the workings of this painting grew on him and gave him the idea of working on other studio paintings. Matisse decided to paint this studio perhaps as a memory of where he sought refuge at his lowest moments. This painting is currently located at Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England.