Red fish - Henri Matisse. 140 x 95 cm
One of the most charming works of Henri Matisse is the painting “Red Fishes”. The canvas stylistically does not give certainty, rather Matisse's “Fish” is a junction of impressionism and Fauvism.
Everything in this picture is wrong - unrealistic colors that are too bright, a strange composition, absolute neglect of proportions and projection. The surface of the table is a perfect circle, which indicates that it is pictured above, but suddenly Matisse draws an elegant leg, as if the table was depicted from the side, and the aquarium corresponds to the side image, otherwise we would only see the fish from above, and we can admire also their bright reflection on the surface of the water. Surprisingly, this inconsistency does not in any way distort the canvas, on the contrary, the whole composition is distinguished by harmony and extreme harmony.
One of the main elements-symbols in the picture is a circle. The viewer can notice this figure not only in the form of a table, but also in the form of an aquarium, plant leaves, table legs, and even a park fence, nothing more than elongated circles, and four fish move in an aquarium in a circle.
The color, bright and contrasting, however, does not deprive the canvas of realism, but this is a special veracity - with such directness and admiration for the fish, only a child can look with his pure gaze.
Extraordinarily calm, somehow unrealistic, the painting “Red Fishes” by Matisse does not cease to amaze the audience even years later. And there is no drama, or a detailed plot, and from bright fish in clear water it is simply impossible to take your eyes off. Later, the author repeated this recognizable motive in several of his works.
One of Matisse’s most remarkable works is in Moscow today, thanks to S.I. Schukin, who bought the canvas from the author himself, with whom he was connected by warm friendship.