The joy of life is Matisse. 241 x 175 cm
Remembering the first demonstration of Henri Matisse's painting “The Joy of Life”, eyewitnesses claimed that it was impossible to pass by it - at the very entrance to the Salon you were met with noise, giggles, exclamations and hooting. So the audience met this picture, bashfully averting their eyes.
Too bold, unusually bright, wild both in its technical embodiment and in the plot idea, the painting was a new event for Matisse and the fine arts as a whole. This is the first work entirely performed according to the artist’s personal ideas about color, light, composition.
The master began work on it in France, where Matisse set up a new workshop in an abandoned monastery. There was a huge space at his disposal, and this freedom influenced creative flight and inspiration. The huge picture, more than 2 meters wide, was a free space where large fragments were painted in one local color, and the plot was embodied by naked figures full of plastic and bliss, sending the viewer either to the art of the East, Persian miniatures or Japanese engravings, then to Titian or Ingres .
All the figures have a clear dark outline, and they are evenly distributed on the canvas - you want to consider each element separately, but you should step back a few steps and you immediately understand how harmoniously the picture is built, despite the fact that the artist absolutely rejected the laws of perspective. In this picture there is a curious detail - a dancing round dance in the center of the canvas. This leitmotif of Matisse will be used more than once, moreover, it will become a kind of identification sign for this artist.
"The joy of life" today is considered one of the most positive paintings, combining eroticism, luxury, pleasure, and peace. Matisse himself lovingly called the picture “My Arcadia”, implying his view of the utopian ideal of harmony between man and nature.