Influences – (Cezanne on Matisse)

Henri Matisse - The Italian Woman - 1916 - 117 x 90 cm - 46 x 35 in - oil on canvas

This is a fascinating study of conveying spatial planes, or another way of putting it, immersing the subject into the surrounding space. How to accomplish this on a two dimensional surface is the challenge. And interestingly, this can only be attempted on a flat plane.

Matisse engaged with this by actually painting an almost opaque plane in front or the figure, which integrates with her hair. What I like is how boldly he conveyed the consideration. It could be said he may have pushed it to the point of substance rather than space. Art should always be open for discussion, as there is no right or wrong in art!

Another impressive consideration is how he painted her hands and arms. They are not static! She is not a frozen in time and Matisse was engaging in the wonderful challenges presented by Cezanne.


Influences (Matisse on Diebenkorn)

Richard Diebenkorn - Recollections of a Visit to Leningrad - 1965 - 183 x 214 cm - 72 x 84 in - oil on canvas

A great example of a notable artist permitting influence in their work.  One could say this is a homage to Matisse.

The influence is obvious, but the painting is a Diebenkorn.  Showing the feel of another artist’s considerations and not losing yourself is very important.

The composition has strong shapes and flatness, which he did so well.  Yet the painting has depth without using perspective.  All that is needed are a couple of obliques which  accomplish this nicely.

Diebenkorn’s superb use of shapes permits colour to come forth and dance!

I must mention the rhythm of blacks taking you across the painting.  They are wonderful notes relieving the strong verticals in the painting.

Henri Matisse - Interior with Eggplants - 1911 - 212 x 246 cm - 84 x 97 in - distemper on canvas



Influences (Cezanne on Matisse)

Henri Matisse - Apples on a table against a Green Background - 1916 - 115 x 90 cm - 42 x 35 in


In this wonderful tribute to Cezanne.  Matisse shows us what appears to be simple is actually very sophisticated.

There is a great deal going on in this painting , but I will limit my comments to Cezanne’s revolutionary consideration of including time in painting.  He was addressing the problems with perspective and may not be actually thinking in terms of including time, but his solution of allowing the viewer to move is precisely that, as the following generations of artists certainly have embraced.

Now to the painting.  Note how he painted the pedestal as if you are at it’s level.  Now look at the table top, you are now looking down at the fruit.  This would not be possible, unless you move, as we do in our reality, in other words the painting has time!

The viewer is invited to move!

You may also ask yourself is the background a wall or the floor, or both?  Why the vertical lines through the fruit?  Matisse leaves questions open for the viewer’s interpretation, as a master should.

I know, I went beyond limiting my comments to time.