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The Painting Lesson or The Painting Session, 1919
|Artist||Matisse, Henri||Many of the paintings Matisse did in this year are particularly pleasing because of their bland, limpid colour, fluent drawing, and cosy subject matter.
Two quasi-complementary pairs of colour, yellow and pale blue, pink and pale green, tinkle to the accompaniment of browns running from the umbers in the girl’s hair and the background across the ocher of the mirror frame into the thinner ocher of the artist’s back and canvas. These browns and tans accentuate the freshness of the other colours.
The background is crucial, however. His thinness with which the burnt umber is scumbled in, permitting the lighter ground beneath to breathe warmth through it, brings the background forward to clasp the ovals of head and mirror instead of dropping away – as it might to leave a dark , meaningless void.
In this unassuming but perfect work the mere mechanical craft of painting provides all the vision necessary.
|Institution||National Galleries of Scotland|
|Medium||Oil on canvas|
|Dimensions||73.40 x 92.20 cm|