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THE WINDOW
THE WINDOW

© 2007 Succession H. Matisse, Paris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

THE WINDOW

Henri Matisse(French, 1869-1954)

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“I experience it as a magical refuge, like an unconscious serenity dream that Matisse was able to make conscious. His expressive use of green invokes such a natural state of calm, freshness, peace and renewal. I can imagine sitting in that comfortable armchair, enjoying the flowers on the round table and the view outside (my inner world and outer world in harmony). And yet, like in a dream, the colors from the walls continue to the floor, lines mix with curves, and the table top slants in a way that would topple most flowers in waking life. Whether or not it was Matisse’s intent, I think this piece shows that he was a master of connecting to his own subconscious mind, perhaps even a person who wished for less anxiety in his own life! Either way, “The Window” transports me to that tranquil state where all things are beautiful and possible.”

Janice Baker, LMSW Gallery Services Volunteer


“In a letter Matisse described this picture: "Through the window of the drawing room one sees the green of the garden and a black tree trunk, a basket of forget-me-nots on the table, a garden chair and a rug." Simple? Not really. Matisse flattened the parquet floor and turquoise walls into one unified line. Add the tilted table top and the skeletal chair, and you have a painting that carefully balances Matisse's desire to reproduce the world accurately in a harmonious two-dimensional painting. ”

Graham W. J. Beal, Director, President and CEO

Date
1916
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Canvas: 57 1/2 x 46 in. (146.1 x 116.8 cm) Framed: 64 3/8 x 53 x 3 in. (163.5 x 134.6 x 7.6 cm)
Department
European Modern Art to 1950
Classification
Paintings
Credit
City of Detroit Purchase
Accession No.
22.14
Provenance
Dirkan G. Kelekian (Sale, American Art Association, New York, 30 January 1922, no. 160, bought by Ralph Booth)
Published References

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