Henri Matisse
Paysage: Les genêts (Landscape: Broom), 1906

The first great strides toward Modernism in the twentieth century were made at the easels of Henri Matisse and André Derain in the summer of 1905. Working side by side in a Mediterranean fishing town in southwestern France, the two artists rendered the clear light and pastoral setting of their surroundings in high-keyed loosely painted works that inspired one critic to dub them and their contemporaries les fauves (“wild beasts”) later that year.

This work is typical of the fifteen or so small paintings that Matisse made that summer. It began as a pencil sketch on a wooden panel whose visible underdrawing indicates a rectilinearity that was abandoned in favor of a pronounced sinuousness. The finished work is a result of Matisse’s enthusiastic experimentation with several techniques: a van Gogh-inspired shifting of strokes, neo-impressionist pointillism, and a subjective selection of colors.

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Paysage: Les genêts (Landscape: Broom)
Artist name
Henri Matisse
Date created
oil on panel
12 in. × 15 5/8 in. (30.48 cm × 39.69 cm)
Date acquired
Collection SFMOMA
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, bequest of Elise S. Haas
© Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Permanent URL
Artwork status
Not on view at this time.

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