Walk: Marin and Driving Errands
Distance: A few blocks, small home yoga
Henri Matisse, Open Window, Collioure, 1905, o/c, 21 3/4" x 18 1/8"
Friends just had new windows installed in their home, and Oh My, what a difference - even though their place was airy and light-filled in the first place.
The experience of really seeing light reminded Ciwt of Matisse (of course). He had grown up in the Northern part of France, where the light is filtered and dim and then moved for his art studies and career to Paris where the light is still quite dark. His early palette was reflective of his understanding of light and color with Woman Reading, 1894 being typical of his somber colors (and possibly mind set) at the time.
Then in the summer of 1905 Matisse traveled with his friend Derain to Collioure, a small town on the Mediterranean Coast. And, once again, Oh My!! He had been south to St. Tropez the previous summer where his painting style and palette opened considerably with the pointillistic Luxe, Calme and Volupe, 1904 being the most famous example. But, by the next summer, even he was shocked by how deeply the Southern light had affected him and his sense of color. Suddenly he was painting with startling, fully saturated colors layed down in a dazzling stacatto of definite brushstrokes.
The small but explosive Open Window represents the very inception of the change in Matisse's art. It marks the beginning of his lifelong quest to control the disruptive, demanding 'sticks of color' on his paintbrush and harness them to joy and spirit. And it marks the absolute beginning of modern art.