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The Joy of Life

Henri Matisse

The Joy of Life

Henri Matisse
  • Original Title: Le Bonheur de Vivre
  • Date: 1905 - 1906
  • Style: Fauvism
  • Genre: genre painting
  • Media: oil, canvas
  • Dimensions: 175 x 241 cm
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During his Fauve years Matisse often painted landscapes in the south of France during the summer and worked up ideas developed there into larger compositions upon his return to Paris. Joy of Live, the second of his important imaginary compositions, is typical of these. He used a landscape he had painted in Collioure to provide the setting for the idyll, but it is also influenced by ideas drawn from Watteau, Poussin, Japanese woodcuts, Persian miniatures, and 19th century Orientalist images of harems. The scene is made up of independent motifs arranged to form a complete composition. The massive painting and its shocking colors received mixed reviews at the Salon des Indépendants. Critics noted its new style -- broad fields of color and linear figures, a clear rejection of Paul Signac's celebrated Pointillism.

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