The Moroccans 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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Matisse was inspired by two visits to Morocco in 1912 and 1913. The Moroccans came around just a few years later but was actually produced when the artist was back in Paris.

There are just a few details in this piece, as he simplied it during his preparatory stages. You will find a small Mosque in the top left of the composition, just behind a small balcony. As a flowerpot sits on a ledge to the right, Matisse uses an expressive, abstract style to depict flowers within it. Huge striped circles give an approximate representation of what he would have seen at that time. To the bottom left is a collection of fruit which probably takes our eye first of all. There are then further architectural features across on the right hand side, all continuing in very abstract forms.

Matisse uses a large amount of black across the background which gives the impression that we are looking out from a shaded position. Of course, this artist produced similar works on multiple occasions often from the viewpoint of behind a window in a small room. This allowed him to combine a domestic scene with landscape. The colours of the items in this particular scene are ideally suited to the bright style of Matisse, in the latter part of his career. Early on, he was much more traditional in style having learnt the more academic approach of Moreau and Bouguereau.

Matisse became excited about the Moroccan architecture during his initial visit and would depict cityscape scenes, sometimes whilst he was there, and other times he would make study drawings in sketchbooks before continuing into oils on his return to France. He would always find it easier to finish off paintings within his own studio, where everything was as he needed. In order to place this painting within the artist's overall output, see also his related works like Window at Tangier and Interior at Nice.

The Moroccans in Detail Henri Matisse