Discussion Questions: Henri Matisse’s Femme au chapeau (Woman with the Hat)

Henri Matisse, Femme au chapeau (Woman with a Hat), 1905; collection SFMOMA, bequest of Elise S. Haas; © Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo: Ben Blackwell

  1. What is the first thing you notice about this work? Why do you think you noticed that first?
  2. Does this work of art express emotion? If yes, which emotion? What do you see that makes you think so?
  3. If the subject of this painting could speak, what would she say? What do you see in the work that makes you think that?
  4. In 1905, when this work was first shown, it was considered shocking. Does this seem like a rebellious work of art today? Why or why not?
  5. What would an outrageous portrait of you look like?

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