Matisse Liberates Color

A painting of an open window looking onto boats on water. Potted plants stand on the ledge or balcony onto which the window opens. The work is characterized by loose brushwork and bold strokes of color. The palette is largely pink and green.

Henri Matisse, La fenêtre ouverte, Collioure (Open Window, Collioure), 1905. Oil on canvas. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney, 1998.74.7. © 2024 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Lecture One

The 36-year-old Henri Matisse made a scandal in Paris exhibiting paintings with bright colors that no longer corresponded to the things they depicted. Hostile critics called this the world of “wild beasts,” or fauves. We trace Matisse’s earlier career and his breakthroughs in landscape, still life, and figural painting. 

Attend In Person or on Zoom

No registration required for in-person attendance. The doors to the Robert L. McNeil, Jr., Lecture Hall open at 1:00 pm. Space is limited.

Registration required for virtual attendance on Zoom.

About the Lecture Series

In this four-part series John Walsh, B.A. 1961, Director Emeritus of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, explores the phases of Matisse’s career. What were the artist’s innovations, and how did he relate to the critics, public, and fellow artists of his day? Each lecture is anchored to an important work, emphasizing close looking. 

Learn more about the series.