The Green Stripe (Madame Matisse) - Henri Matisse. 40.5x32.5 cm
The painting that struck contemporaries of Matisse is a portrait of Madame Matisse. However, critic Jacques Riviere spoke of her as a true work ... terribly true.
The central element of the work can be called a green strip on the face of the heroine, descending from the forehead to the chin. In such an unusual way, Matisse depicted a shadow, shading it with blue-black hair and a simple background, in the form of local bright spots - green, red and purple. At the same time, the background was made with coarse, heterogeneous, heterogeneous strokes, reminiscent of some kind of children's drawing. But, the way the author harmoniously arranged these fragments, dividing the space into three unequal segments (two squares on one side and a rectangle on the other) speaks of the search and maturity of the artist, who perfectly understands what he wants to see on the canvas in the finished version.
However, even for the Fauvists, all this was somehow too much and too much. But Matisse did not care much - he always gravitated to primitive art, honoring Gauguin, and in terms of color, he advocated pure colors.
The eyes in the portrait are unusual. Some critics compare this view with the mystery of the Sphinx - they are so mysterious and deep. Madame Matisse's impenetrable stern face, as if saying something with her black eyes, but the meaning of what was said inevitably eludes even the most attentive viewer.
Rough lines, a generalized study of the lines of the face, pronounced monumentality - this painting is very reminiscent of the stained glass windows of Matisse, which he turned to at the end of his life.
Initially, the canvas was called "Madame Matisse", but today another version of its name is better known - "Green Strip". Moreover, the first owners - the Stein couple - called this work so, and the public liked the new version so much that soon the author's signature was forgotten. Today, the painting “The Green Strip” is located in Copenhagen, and everyone can see it by visiting the State Museum of Art.