Entrance to the Kasbah 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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The painting Entrance to the Kasbah is a unique painting done by Henri Matisse. It does not stem out from imagination. It is a representation of Matisse's fulfilled desire of having a glance inside a Kasbah. First and foremost, it is difficult not to notice three distinct colours.

The colour blue takes up most of the painting. It is seen on the large walls. Henri paints it from the bottom parts of the walls to about halfway. The rest part of the walls is painted white with some shades of blue colour. In the middle of the painting, Henri paints an opening in the form of an open door. The entrance is ovular at the top. There is a distinctive entrance path painted the colour red that leads inside the Kasbah. It looks similar to a red carpet.

At one part of that red pathway, there is a circular area painted white. On the left side of that path, Henri paints a man seated. He portrays him as though he is rubbing his right leg. He has pushed that leg forward as his left leg remains on the ground. On the right side inside the Kasbah stand a wall with a small window in the middle. The window is just a small rectangular opening. Outside the window, Henri paints the colour blue to depict the sky. Right below the window is the colour blue. Below the colour blue on the wall, Henri paints black colour with circular shapes painted with white colour.

On the left side, Henri paints some stony structures. They are all painted blue with a touch of white colour. In one section, Matisse paints a plant looking item. He paints it far off, such that you cannot see it well. In yet another segment, Henri portrays a yellowish rectangular block. Henri seems to admire the culture in Morocco. They constructed kasbahs. Kasbah were buildings in that region. They acted as residence sites of the kings or the local leaders.

The different shades of blue and white are neither Henri's imagination. The houses in the Kasbah are indeed painted white and blue. Henri depicts the culture of this area as the theme of his painting. He presents these buildings and the builders as lovers of nature. They seem to copy the sky which, is blue and blended with white clouds. The location of this painting is the northwest part of Africa.