What Kind of Painting Is the "Green Stripe" by Henri Matisse?


Quick Answer

"Green Stripe" by Henri Matisse is oil and tempera paint on canvas, done in the artist's own fauvist style, according to Artionado. "Green Stripe," considered Matisse's masterpiece, is a painting of his wife, Amélie, with a green stripe down the middle of her face. Instead of normal shading down the center of the portrait, Matisse painted a "warm" side and a "cool" side using different colors.

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Artionado explains that the artist used dramatic brush strokes to portray natural lighting schemes. The left side of the portrait, or the "cool" side, includes green, yellow and orange hues. The right side appears more natural with pink, white and red hues. Madame Matisse's hair and clothing seem to be more conventional. The cool side of her face seems to mimic colors of her collar, while the warm side is similar to hues in the subject's shirt. "Green Stripe," also called "Madame Matisse," was painted in 1905.

Fauvism was invented by artists such as Matisse, Maurice de Vlaminck and Andre Derain in France in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Fauves expressed themselves with vibrant colors, sometimes taken directly from paint tubes and thrown onto canvases. Fauvism was an avant-garde style in France that broke with tradition, a move that led to newer styles in modern art in Europe at the time.

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