Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wild Beast

Nymphe et satyre, 1908-1909

Henri Matisse
The Hermitage

In the previous Ladies-in-waiting room of the Winter Palace hangs one of the worlds greatest collection of Matisse paintings. Unfortunately shining in fluorescent surgery light, but still breathtaking.
His colorful paintings and his exasperating strokes started a new direction in Art named "Les Fauves" which means "Wild Beast". It seems quite funny to be named a wild beast painter when he paints quite harmonious domestic objects at times, but then comes this intense other side of him with works like Nymph et Satyre and the Nu, which makes it all be intensified in a furiously amusing way.  

Marocain en vert debout (Le rifain debout). 1913
Standing Moroccan in Green (Standing Riffian)

Zorah Debout, 1912
Zorah Standing

To why this great collection made it's way to the Hermitage in St. Petersburg one has to connect the dots back to the collector Sergei Schcukin who commissioned work from Matisse. Schcukin collected impressionist and post-impressionist work to decorate his palatial home in Moscow. Shchukin was quite ahead of his time since this was seen as quite unpopular Art. When Lenin came to power his collection was taken away and his mansion turned into a state museum. Schcukin fled to Paris where he died. In later times his collection have been divided between the Hermitage and the Pushkin Museum in Moscow.

Portrait de la famille du peintre, 1911
Family Portrait

Nature morte d'Espagne. 1910
Spanish Still Life

Nature morte de Seville. 1910
Seville Still Life

Vase d'iris. 1912
Vases of Irises

Le Chambre rouge (Harmonie rouge). 1908
The Red Room (Harmony in Red)

Nu (Noir et or). 1908
Nude (Black and Gold)

Danse. 1910
(This is the second version of the "Danse" the first version is at MoMA in NY.) 

These two large legendary paintings face each other playfully in the same room, you come to think of how wonderful it is that they have not been divided, how powerful it is to have them become one.

Musique. 1910

I see his paintings as quite joyful so hopefully the can color your day vibrantly as well:)

With Love


  1. I really enjoy Matisse, Le Chambre rouge (Harmonie rouge) is a favourite, Ijust love the colours and the way they move and dances off the canvas. How wonderful you got to go and see this..I hope to one day!! It added vibrance to my day indeed, thank you :) Love love x

  2. Thank you for sharing these!

    Have a wonderful holiday season!!!

  3. Yes, they coloured my day ... and the post is really interesting. Thank you!

  4. lately i have some kind of obsession with green, so your post fits my mood complitely... but seriously this is a bit more my kind of art. of course Matisse`S Le Chambre rouge is very known and a favorite. i remember to have read about Schcukin, but coud not recall, very much about it.
    your posts always informative Kristin : ) thanks xo xo

  5. Got your message. Do you have my email address? Can you entitle it 'Sea Rhythms'so that I recognise it?? Thanks! Look forward to hearing from you.

  6. Dans is such an iconic piece and i love Harmonie Rouge.

    Have a lovely weekend dear!

    Chic 'n Cheap Living