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Matisse, The Pont Saint-Michel

Post #925 • December 21, 2006, 5:12 PM • 16 Comments

From The Romance of Modernism:

Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954): The Pont Saint-Michel, 1900, oil on canvas, Scott M. Black Collection, © 2006 Succession H. Matisse, Paris/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, photography © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Matisse enjoyed a well-rounded education under Bouguereau, Gustave Moreau, and informally, senior Impressionists like Pissaro. Even in Urban Impressionist mode, this work evidences several distinctly Matissean traits that hint at later triumphs. His economizing eye is already grouping forms into spare units, such as this bank of autumnal foliage.

Above, detail

Matisse built certain later works almost entirely out of scraped areas, and here he's taking some initial stabs at it. Something about this looks analoguous to the lovely raw areas of canvas in Cézanne.

Above, detail

He's also beginning to build areas out of textile-like patterning rather than modelling.

Above, detail

Above, detail

Above, detail

And yet he could model like a champion when he wanted to.

Above, detail

Comment

1.

Jack

December 21, 2006, 5:51 PM

The little isolated areas in your details are as good as the whole, or nearly so. Delicious--especially the coloring, of course. Clearly better than Picasso's. And the textures are also good enough to eat.

That's the down side to really great talent; it spoils you for what is lesser, which is nearly everything else.

2.

Beautiful

December 21, 2006, 6:35 PM

Beautiful picture! Matisse could really do it with color and expressiviness without losing verisimilitude. The close ups are a good exmple of how sloppy he can be while still making a picture that hangs together.

3.

Bethea

December 21, 2006, 6:37 PM

The last comment was from me not beautiful. I was talking with my wife while writing.

4.

opie

December 21, 2006, 6:50 PM

The third detail down, the detail of the pale yellowish building, is very AE, almost like a Diebenkorn, only better than the "Ocean Park" pictures it vaguely resembles. Interesting how a really great painter looks good all over.

5.

George

December 21, 2006, 6:51 PM

When you talk about "Modeling" could you please explain what you mean? I have a general sense, but clarification would be great. Thanks.

6.

Franklin

December 21, 2006, 6:54 PM

George, modelling here just means the rendering of the illusion of 3D form.

7.

ahab

December 21, 2006, 8:13 PM

The guy says goodbye to blogging, then immediately rips off a bunch of fascinating posts. Nice to see your love for great painting shining through, Franklin.

The Tooker is so very odd - did you notice the fifth orange hidden behind the figure's ear? But the Signac and Matisse' are just awesome. Awesome, I say.

8.

Franklin

December 21, 2006, 11:34 PM

Goodbye to blogging? No, I just said that I had to choose between being a professional artist or a professional critic, and I picked the former.

9.

jordan

December 21, 2006, 11:57 PM

I really enjoy this focused direction with Artblog.net as related to Franklin's studio practices.

10.

Elizabeth

December 22, 2006, 2:22 AM

Ahab, I think its a flower, not an orange

11.

artist

December 22, 2006, 4:50 AM

I came across this site while searching for Matisse art on [my ouija board]. You should check it out:

http://[myouijaboard].blogspot.com [The originally mentioned site actually looked legitimate for a minute, but turns out to be a Blogspot address with a Google search field and more Adsense ads than I've ever seen splattered onto a single page. - F.]

12.

jordan

December 22, 2006, 6:56 AM

For the New Year and with respect to Artblog.net could people who contribute please use their real name and own up to the comments that they make?
Say what you mean to say and proclaim who you really are while making your point with confidence. This comment may be in despite of the ridicule which may follow - (by opie for instance.I personally dislike your "alias" identity as I've commented on before in perhapes blog #150.
This new blog has become a literary context involving debate and honesty.

13.

jordan

December 22, 2006, 7:03 AM

...I missed an ')' after the word instance...

14.

opie

December 22, 2006, 7:17 AM

It has not been "ridicule" Jordan. just a simple, clear-cut position that anonymity is important to a blog, just as the secret ballot is to our political system. When anonymity is enforced strong opinion and, yes, "honesty", are encouraged. In this way Franklin can insist "address the writing, not the writer", and the blog is encouraged to be a wide-open forum of ideas, not personalities.

I wrote under my own name for years, voicing very strong anti-establishment opinion, and I took the heat for it, so it makes little difference to me personally. But I very strongly believe in anonymity on this blog and I will use an alias even if everyone knows exactly who I am.

15.

ahab

December 22, 2006, 10:05 AM

Jordan, I'm not sure what you're getting at here...

16.

catfish

December 22, 2006, 10:30 AM

Jordan, if you knew that I am really Julian Schnabel, would that make you take what I say more (or less) seriously?

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