Woman with a Veil 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 woman with a veil painting by Henri Matisse is one of his notable works to date. It is an oil on canvas painting painted during the winter-spring of 1927. Its original dimensions are 24 1/4 x 19 3/4" (61.6 x 50.2 cm), giving the painting optimum clarity.

The subject and object of the painting are Portrait, and the style of art is Fauvism. The theme is focused on a form of emotion shown by the model in the painting. The painting is of Henriette, who was Matisse's model for up to 7 years. The painting shows a sited model with her face being supported by her hand placed on her chin and cheek. The other hand is ducked in hiding away from plain sight. The way she is sited may indicate a variety of emotions. She seems either sad or worried about something that she is uncertain of. The eyes seem to stare towards a specific direction, but the mind seems to be in a different place.

The painting shows the woman with a rather intriguing type of veil. It clearly shows several characteristics and designs that seem to work incoherent with each other. The veil incorporates different colors, including black, red, blue, and greyish whiter. The veil seems to be divided into four sections, each with distinct colors. The right side of the veil is mainly red with yellow lines, which form a checked pattern. The top left side of the veil is green in color with a yellow checkered pattern too. The bottom left side has black or dark grey color with the same yellow checked pattern, which is seen all through the veil.

The other section of the veil seems to be part of the arms and appears to be white or light grey. It covers the top of the left arm with the rest of the hand not covered. The right arm is completely covered except the palm and fingers, which are not visible due to their position. The painting is currently located in The Museum of Modern Art in Nueva, York, where people can visit and see the original version.

The background is also unique, which might represent the type of emotion and energy around the model. The background is filled with several colors, including pink, blue, orange, yellow, and different shades. The lines and textures that the painter is trying to show seem rather abstract but are also strategically placed to work with the entire portrait painting.