Henry Matisse Still life with eggplants-1911

  1. Henry Murdoch

The composition is based on joining the fore- and the backgrounds. Matisse declines the perspective and uses on the canvas local colour spots. In this sense he follows the artistic search of Cezanne.

The thoroughly thought placing of objects- a door, a window, a curtain, a mirror, a table-makes a complicated impression of deep, but at the same time flat compositional space. For creating deep space Matisse used the contrasts of colours.

Traditionally, still lifes are reckoned to be realistic pictures, as they represent quite realistic if not talk trivial objects. But in case with egg plants Matisse proves that there may be variants. He proposes his own, a purely decorative look at the still life as a genre. All the horizontal parts of the canvas are placed on the same level. Even an open window makes the impression of an ordinary decorative element. And only two objects- a jug and a statuette break this flat integrity.



Amadeo Modigliani,1915



In the work Antonia a models name was written by the masters hand just on the canvas. Inserting letters, words and even phrases into a picture space rooted in Cubism, the principles of which Modigliani didnt accept. The name is written in black letters in the top left-hand corner and in the bottom right-hand corner one can observe the painters name.

Antonias body is encircled with the thin white contour, interrupted at many places ( at the shoulders, at the waist etc).

Carrying on interpreting the principles of Cubism, the painter has deformed the features of the models face. Antonias nose is shown from the front and profiled simultaneously, the right cheek is portrayed round and the left one is hollow. The sitters hairdo is asymmetrical: there is a thin lock on one side and a thick mass of hair - on another one. Only one ear is visible, though the woman is portrayed from the front.

The light spot of the window in the background is emphasizing the vertical axis of the composition. Moreover, the frames of the windows make a cross just behind Antonias head.



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Pablo Picasso, Flowers, 1901


The still life was executed in Paris in 1901 and is a classical example of the so called Vollars style. Works having been created before an exhibition in Vollars gallery were appointed to be displayed and sold at it. There were represented a few similar short-size flower pieces. Like street scenes, scenes in a café, childrens portraits, this still life is marked by the expressive manner of the brushwork which makes the viewer recollect the works of Impressionists. The painter used sweeping crossed strokes to execute flowers and leaves. Evidently, young Picasso, on his coming to Paris, was fond of the French painting manner of the late Impressionists Van Gogh and Gauguin.


Berthe Morisot Sisters, 1869

Two of Morisots sisters, Adma and Eve are portrayed in the portrait. Purity and serenity of the pallete, free arrangement of figures inside the interior,an aspiration at rendering the sitters characters and their psychological state thoughtful and a little melancholic Adma and resolute, more practical Eve that was the result of Manets lessons as well as of the painters of his surrounding. The fans sketch hanging above the sofa in this women portrait, tells the viewers of Manets and his friends passion for the Japanese etching. The carefully rendered details and the precise contour of the figures testify that the portrait had been produced by 1872 when Morisots manner changed and the strokes became more airy and light-bearing. The warm intimate atmosphere of the portrait is connected with the painters preference of portraying her friends and relatives.This feature remains the typical one of her early and mature paintings.



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