Saturday, March 20, 2021

Fabric Language --- Day 9/333

Walk: M. Stone's for sushi
Distance: 1.8 miles

Henri Matisse, Still Life with Blue Tablecloth 1909 oil on canvas, 34-5/8 x 46-1/2 inches The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg 

Ahhhh, back to Ciwt's great art love, Henri Matisse, and his beloved - and huge - collection of fabrics and textiles.  

He was besotted with each one of them, kept them close and displayed them all over his studios and homes.  He was a descendant of generations of weavers and raised among weavers in Bohan-en-Vermandois, which in the 1880's and 90's was a production center of fancy silks and major supplier to the fashion houses of Paris.  Bohain was a hard working, competitive environment where innovations of pattern, design and color were matters of pride and survival. 

Matisse took in these energies deeply.  So deeply, that he essentially invented a new painterly "language of decoration."  In this radical new tongue Matisse transformed the patterns and colors of flat fabrics of all types far beyond their reality and into new boundless, harmonious, joyful entities.

One piece of printed cloth he used reguarly in his paintings was a blue on white length he had spotted in a junk shope window and immediately got off the bus he was riding to purchase.  This is what it actually looks like 

and the painting above is what Matisse's imagination, skills, inventiveness and daring transformed it into.


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