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Formal Analysis- Henri Matisse "Interior at Nice"

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Introduction

Henri Matisse's painting titled Interior at Nice depicts a room in a naturalistic yet unnaturalistic manner through techniques of space and mass, and the use of color. This painting depicts the inside of a hotel room that contains objects such as a chair and vanity table, and a female figure that is sitting on the balcony. The balcony in the painting overlooks an ocean; however, the female figure sits facing towards the interior of the room. The figures and objects depicted in the painting are representational since they can be identified with the real world, which add to the painting's naturalistic quality. However, the painting is unaturalistic since the figures and objects simplified and stylized. Matisse's use of different perspectives in the painting such as bird's eye view and intuitive perspective contribute to the painting's unnaturalistic elements, while the use of warm and cool colors contribute to the naturalistic elements of the painting. With the use of different techniques of space and mass combined with the use of color help create Interior at Nice to be a naturalistic and unnaturalistic painting. ...read more.

Middle

An example of bird's eye view from the painting would be the chair in front of the vanity table. It creates the illusion that the viewer is right above the chair looking down at it. The floor is also painted in bird's eye view and creates the illusion that the floor is tilting up rather than being flat. However, no other objects in the painting are painted in this perspective creating it to be unnaturalistic. Another unaturalistic perspective depicted in Interior at Nice is intuitive perspective, which is an illusion of special depth. It is a technique of presenting an illusion of the three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional surface that does not follow the rules of linear perspective. Intuitive perspective consists of a horizon line and many vanishing points, unlike linear perspective which only consists of two vanishing points. In Interior at Nice, the horizon line is where the ocean and the sky meet in the background. The vanishing points are found by orthogonal lines which are perpendicular to the picture plane, as opposed to linear perspective which uses parallel lines. ...read more.

Conclusion

Warm colors are colors that visually project such as yellows, oranges, and reds. Whereas cool colors are colors that visually recede, such as violets, blues, and greens. Typically in paintings, cool colors are found in the background and warm colors are featured in the foreground to create the illusion of spatial depth. This technique also helps the viewer to focus on the focal points, which are figures and objects that the viewer's eye is drawn to. Some focal points would be the chair or the vanity table, which are painted in warm colors, thus grabbing the attention of the viewer. The proper use of warm and cool colors in the painting gives Interior at Nice its naturalistic elements. In conclusion, Matisse's painting is portrayed through naturalistic and unnaturalistic elements with different techniques of space and mass, and the various use of color. The use of different perspectives, simplified figures and objects, and the use of warm and cool colors help create naturalistic and unnaturalistic elements in the painting. Even though both elements depict Interior at Nice, the painting portrays more unnaturalistic elements than naturalistic. 1 ...read more.

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