“The Joy of life” demonstrates a multitude of contrasting colors, both warm and cold, which nevertheless agree with each other. Indeed, the green and orange that make up the foliage comes out yellow, blue and pink ground. The structure forms and wavy lines in this painting creates a certain harmony in this mix of bright colors, a certain fluidity that makes the strong colors a little lighter. The characters of “The Joy of Life” (1905-1906) are dedicated to allegories of the arts (music and dance) and pleasures (body beauty and love) life, which bring them, as the title itself suggests, “la joie de vivre”.Order now
We can also observe the circle of dancers, in the background, serving as a preparatory study for the painting La Danse, he realized in 1909 this painting is a hymn to the beauty of the body, art and color. In the painting we can observe that arabesques enhance the bodies, and that they are themselves emphasized, from time to time, by rings or halos of color. Matisse seemed to have a lot of fun drawing the bodies of women, who had obviously keen to decline all sorts of curves, forming all kinds of poses.
The installation of one of the women in the second plan will be taken up by Matisse’s Blue Nude in Biskra 1906 (Baltimore), but there will also be, for example, some of the dancers from the background, greatly enlarged, in Dance (the two major versions of 1909 and 1910, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg). Matisse’s work took a new turn in 1905-1906 when he painted “the joy of life”. For this work, he finally emerged as an innovative artist.
Practicing a synthesis of everything he has learned over the last fifteen years, Matisse integrates new but decisive influence of Ingres, through which he completed to update the tradition and heritage of the old masters, previously confiscated by academic artists. Making use of a new way of painting (pure colors arranged in flat, use the line to define the body and make the most of their sensual curves), the artist brings to the manifestation of a “moment sentimental, “soothed and voluptuous.
Picasso, whom he met during the year 1906 will see “Le Bonheur de vivre” and draw the lesson that it is possible, from the tradition, even the most traditional, to create something new, that it shoed in 1907 with “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon”. That same year arises between the two artists, yet very different, mutual admiration. As for “Le Bonheur de vivre”, the fabric is bought by Leo Stein: he then considered the largest canvas of his time, before it’s sold to the American collector Albert Barnes, preferring precisely Les Demoiselles d ‘Avignon.
Today, this work is considered as one of the most important piece of art of the twentieth-century art, as well as is “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” by Picasso. Indeed, Matisse, with its use of strong colors and long, curved lines will initially influenced his acolytes Derain and Vlaminck, then expressionist and surrealist painters same. As in La Joie de vivre, the famous painting of Dali, The Persistence of Memory (1931), addresses, forms with long, fluid and wavy lines.
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Henri Matisse 1869-1954. Maître de la couleur
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