Henri Matisse – Luxury , Calm and Pleasure 1904 -The starting point of Fauvism
The starting point of Fauvism , Luxury, Calm and Pleasure by Henri Matisse
Luxe, Calme et Volupté (Luxury, Calm and Pleasure) is an oil painting by the French artist Henri Matisse . Both foundational in the oeuvre of Matisse and a pivotal work in the history of art, Luxe, Calme et Volupté is considered the starting point of Fauvism. This painting is a dynamic and vibrant work created early on in his career as a painter. It displays an evolution of the Neo-Impressionist style mixed with a new conceptual meaning based in fantasy and leisure that had not been seen in works before.
Background of painting – Origins
Prior to the beginning of his Fauvist period Matisse had been formally educated in the arts and started his career copying works from old masters. His first original works resembled those from his education. After he left school, influence from Impressionism developed into his work and gradually led him to the Post-Impressionist movement where this style stuck with him until it evolved into Fauvism. Matisse frequently purchased works from artists such as Cézanne, Van Gogh, and Gauguin during his time before Fauvism that influenced his painting and the development of his style over time.
Luxe, Calme et Volupté was painted by Matisse in 1904, after a summer spent working in St. Tropez on the French Riviera alongside the Neo-Impressionist painters Paul Signac and Henri-Edmond Cross. Signac purchased the work, which was exhibited in 1905 at the Salon des Indépendants.
Style – Divisionist technique
The painting is Matisse’s most important work in which he used the Divisionist technique advocated by Signac. Divisionism is created by individual dots of colors placed strategically on the canvas in order to appear blended from a distance; Matisse’s variant of this style is created by numerous short dashes of color to develop the forms that are seen in the image. He first adopted the style after reading Signac’s essay “D’Eugène Delacroix au Néo-impressionisme” in 1898.
The simplification of form and details is a trademark of Fauvist landscapes in which artists intentionally created artificial structures that distorted the reality of images. Many of these same qualities can be found in Matisse’s other works. Other Fauvist painters worked on large scale landscapes that did not focus as much on figures within the composition as with Matisse’s works.
Fauvism art movment
Fauvism is the style of les Fauves (French for “the wild beasts”), a group of early 20th-century modern artists whose works emphasized painterly qualities and strong color over the representational or realistic values retained by Impressionism. While Fauvism as a style began around 1904 and continued beyond 1910, the movement as such lasted only a few years, 1905–1908, and had three exhibitions.