Matisse's earlier time in French Polynesia is recalled in this image based on a photograph that he took of a schooner from his window in Tahiti in 1930. At the right, the green rectangle, fuchsia band, black curve, and blue crescent appear to derive from the boat, the boat's mast and mooring line, and the curtain of the window.
Memory of Oceania
Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs
284.4 x 286.4 cm
Gouache on paper, cut and pasted, mounted on board
Date of work
Summer 1952-Early 1953
A French painter, draughtsman, sculptor, printmaker, designer and writer, Henri Matisse came to art comparatively late and made his reputation as the principal protagonist of Fauvism. He went on to develop a monumental decorative art, innovative both in its treatment of the human figure and in the role accorded to colour. His long career culminated in a highly original series of works made of paper cut-outs or gouaches découpées, which confirmed his reputation, with Picasso, as one of the major artists of the 20th century.