Two clear torsos are arranged in opposing halves of the work. One is blue on white, and the other white on blue. It is almost like watching something in the mirror, though the relaxed nature of Matisse's work meant that the two forms are similar, but certainly not identical. He worked freely from his bed, cutting from painted pieces of paper. Ideas would come and go in an instance, although there was some consistency within each book across the different artworks. Curves would be easy to produce using scissors, and he worked in this manner for a number of years, mastering the technique and allowing him to produce different types of shapes. It was not something that major artists would normally have done, but Matisse illustrated the potential of this way, even though he was forced into it as his health suffered.
One of the impressive elements of abstract art is the ability to reduce complex things down to just a few parts. In this case we can understand the torso from a single shape, and do not need the title of the painting in order to recognise what the artist is attempting to recreate. In other examples within the book, though, it can be harder to work out if anything from reality is actually being seen or if we are actually just looking at an expression of random shapes and colours. Where illustrations are placed alongside text it can then be much easier to understand the visual meanings, but Matisse would not normally work within that manner and so we often have to bridge a gap of understanding ourselves.
The Open Window (matisse), Blue Window and The Dance remain some of this artist's most famous artworks, but many still focus on his cut-outs because of the truly innovative nature of that body of work. He would also take in sculpture too, though his oil paintings were key in establishing his reputation initially. It is often the case that once an artist has established himself that new ideas and mediums start to appear, and also in later life some artists want to cover as much as possible before their career finally comes to an end. It was the 20th century in which artists really started to vary the mediums in which they used and started to work more freely, with Matisse helping that development through the variety of his own career.