Sreda, 21 Juli 2021 20:28

Matisse's The Joy of life and Cézanne's The Large Bathers Istaknut

The Joy of Life by Henri Matisse is perhaps the first canvas to clearly understand the great formal challenge of Paul Cézanne and to further the elder master's ideas. This painting is simultaneously seen as inspired by and breaking free of Paul Cézanne's, last great painting, The Large Bathers in its marked symmetry and the adaptation of the nude forms to the triangular pattern of the trees and river.

Like Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse utilizes the landscape as the scenery for nude figures to engage and connect. In both paintings, trees are at the sides and in the far distance, and their upper boughs are spread apart like curtains, highlighting the figures lounging beneath. And like Cézanne, Matisse unifies the figures and the landscape. Cézanne does this by stiffening and tilting his trunk-like figures. Matisse uses the serpentine arabesques that define the contours of the women and then reiterated in the curvilinear lines of the trees.

There are also very evident variances between the two paintings. Henri Matisse used bright and vibrant colors like oranges and reds and purples. Paul Cézanne painted with more solemn colors such as blues and coppers. The Large Bathers was also more uniformed and compact in the use of its space, and Matisse consciously used fiat planes of pure colors in The Joy of life. Matisse used such curves and arabesques in the shapes of the trees and then mirrored that in the curves of the bodies. This made Matisse's painting The Joy of life seem more sensual than Cézanne's The Large Bathers.

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