Nude in the 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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Nude in the Studio by Henri Matisse is the artist's first significant artwork featuring the female figure. The painting was done in 1899 and is an expression of colour that the artist favoured in his work.

Matisse uses the neo-impressionism technique to produce Nude in the Studio. The painting is bright and predominantly uses the colours green and orange to depict the figure of a nude female with a magnificent body standing with her side profile in view. The female figure is in the foreground in orange, while the background is green to the right and multicoloured to the left. There is a glimpse of the artist who is painting her in the background. She faces the left side of the canvas. The painting is vibrant because of the contrast of colours used and the richness of the hues.

The brushstrokes used to produce the image are light which creates a feathery look of the picture. Matisse uses pointillist brushwork in this painting which points to Neo-Impressionism influence. The Frenchman's use of solid colours and their positioning suggest that he also used Fauvism's artistic technique for this painting. Fauvism is the use of bright and cheery colours in figure paintings characterized by pure vivid colour and bold, distinctive brushwork. The technique of merging impressionism and Fauvism is one of the most impressive things about the artwork.

Matisse is viewed as the 20th century's greatest colourist because of the way he used colour in his artworks. This made his paintings expressive and ornate with the bold use of colour and how he innovatively used simple lines and forms to portray light, space, and depth. This painting was done when Matisse was in Brittany, where he was under the guidance of Emile Wery and John Russell. These artists were influenced by impressionists and post-impressionist works. This influence in his work is depicted in the use of lighter and brighter colours in the Nude in the Studio painting compared to his earlier works, which used darker hues.

Other artists who influenced Matisse were Edvard Munch, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, Antoine Watteau, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. It was this period of time that Matisse greatly impacted his protege, Albert Marquet, who painted his Fauvist Nude, the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux. The Fauve Art Movement influenced Matisse's paintings for a period. He is one of the best-known artists who favoured this painting technique. The influence of Fauvism prevailed throughout his artistic life. The Nude in the Studio is one of the results of this era in his artistic life. Nude in the Studio is hosted in the Tokyo Bridgestone Museum of Art. It was previously owned by the founder of the Bridgestone company, Shojiro Ishibashi.