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Moroccan - Henri Matisse. 1912
Matisse believed that art should bring joy to man. The female portrait of Moroccan, whose exotic themes came into the artist’s work after a trip to the north of Africa, is striking in its major color. It combines large areas of local colors. The image is monumental thanks to the enlarged parts of the figure, the maximum approximation of the image to the viewer and the absence of unnecessary details characteristic of Matisse. The artist does not seek to convey portrait resemblance - it is not at all important and interesting to him. Realism has outlived its own, and Matisse creates another art - he creates an image, a mood.
A strict, cheeky face with an oriental incision of piercing black eyes, dark skin, a colorful headdress - these are the characteristic features he noticed in Moroccan women. And a collective abstract female image appears on the canvas, in which one can catch the formal influence ... of the Russian icons that struck Matisse during his stay in Russia: restraint of style, local colors, elongated proportions, severity of facial features and the very position of the figure in space - frontal a view in front of the viewer, whose gaze focuses on the eyes of the model. We are only talking about the external borrowing of the forms of icon-painting style, the essence of the work, of course, remains outside the religious space.