Henri Matisse – “Red Fish”

An interesting, very unusual work of the famous French expressionist Henri Matisse. There are no surprises in the plot, it is completely ordinary, and the audience cannot take their eyes off this work. Here, the artist somehow showed, with a pure and sincere, like a child’s gaze, the amazing beauty of the supposedly magical goldfish. This delighted mood is easily and naturally conveyed to the viewer. Matisse returned to this subject several times, each time changing the composition, the aquarium, or the color scheme of the canvas. And each version is filled with such harmony and tenderness of colors that one cannot fail to quote the words of the artist himself, who said that this work is like a comfortable chair that a weary viewer deserves.

The picture now before our eyes is very positive. Reproducing a minimal part of the interior, Henri Matisse depicted a table on which there is an aquarium with red fish floating in it. This round dance of four fish is the semantic basis of the work. The bright colors of the painting create an upbeat, joyful mood. Red fish swimming in the aquarium, being the main compositional center of the picture, have also become a color center, strongly shaded by bright green leaves around. Thanks to these bright, shining colors, the audience will never have doubts about the authorship of this masterpiece: it can only be Matisse.

The artist painted this canvas in his workshop located not far from Paris, it was immediately bought by the Russian collector Shchukin for his collection.

Year of painting: 1911.

Dimensions of the painting: 140 x 95 cm.

Material: canvas.

Writing technique: oil.

Genre: animalism.

Style: post-impressionism.

Gallery: State Museum of Fine Arts. A.S. Pushkin, Moscow, Russia.

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