Matisse, The Red Studio
© Succession H Matisse/DACS 2010
The Red Studio (1911)
Here, Matisse presents his own studio saturated with a single colour: a bold red. Matisse was using colour to express (and provoke) an intense emotional response to a very private space.
There is a dreamlike quality to the work. The furniture seems to float in the saturated colour, and the hands of the clock have been removed as if time has been suspended.
Indeed, its power is such that American Abstract Expressionist painter Mark Rothko claimed to have been moved to tears when viewing it at New York's Museum of Modern Art.