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The Snail

by Henri Matisse

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The Snail - Description

Throughout his life, Matisse had been interested in color. As he once wrote, "Seek the strongest color effect possible... the content is of no importance" (source: Late in his life, Matisse would explore an art of pure color, relying on cutouts and line, rather than brush and paint. In "The Snail," his assistants painted gouache pieces in bright colors. Matisse then tore these pieces into shapes, and directed his assistants to place them on a prepared canvas. He considered this painting a type of sculpture, cutting directly into the color, and they gave him much joy toward the end of his life. In "The Snail," a bright orange, jagged frame encircles the canvas. Brightly colored strips of blue, pink, orange, yellow, green and black are arranged in a sort of semi-circle, representing a snail's shell. Matisse wrote, " It is not enough to place colors, however beautiful, one beside the other; colors must also react on one another. Otherwise, you have cacophony," (source: This idea is expressed beautifully here as the colors intermix and intermingle to suggest the snail and his shell. "The Snail" shows the artist actively thinking, actively creating, toward the end of a long life filled with art.

Painting Details

Artwork Name: The Snail

Original Artist: Henri Matisse
Subject: Abstract
Style: Abstract
Medium: 100% Hand-painted on Canvas
Shipping Cost: FREE
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