French And Russian-French Paintings

By Darren Hartley

In the traditional Flemish style, Matisse paintings began as still lives and landscapes. They were completed with reasonable proficiency. Primarily known as a painter, Henri-Emile-Benoit Matisse was also a French poet, draughtsman, printmaker and sculptor.

The early Matisse paintings tended towards the gloomy, due to the fact that Henri used a dark palette in accomplishing them. It was a rebellious reputation that his first contemporary art experimentations garnered.

It was between 1897 and 1898 that Matisse paintings took a complete change of style with their introduction to Impressionism. The first masterpiece among the Matisse paintings was The Dinner Table, completed in 1897. It was considered radical with its impressionist aspects at the time.

Without much clear direction, Matisse paintings displayed Henri's rebellious talents by 1899. Whenever he got stuck with his paintings, Henri turned to sculpture for the organization of his thoughts and sensations.

Influenced by the works of the post-impressionist painters and the Japanese artists, Matisse paintings made color its crucial element. This contributed to a reconstruction in the still life philosophy of Henri. Patterned after Paul Cezanne's fragmented planes, Matisse paintings were stretched to a forced contemplation of the color surfaces.

The Matisse paintings from 1899 to 1905 made use of the pointillist technique as adopted from Signac. In 1902-03, the Matisse paintings went back to dark palettes and showed a brief movement back to naturalism.

A Russian-French artist named Marc Zakharovich Chagall was considered the quintessential 20th century Jewish artist. Marc Chagall paintings exhibited fabulous and metaphoric images on everyday life. This was clearly manifested in Marc's early works including Birth, The Deal and A Holy Family.

Aside from demonstrating a perfect feeling of colors and a mastery of the Fauvism methods, Marc Chagall paintings also exemplified a mastery of Cubism, Futurism and Orphism, new trends and tendencies gaining recognition at the time. However, these new styles were reshaped in the Marc way and can be gleamed from his depiction of The Violinist, To My Betrothed, Golgotha and Paris Through the Window.

A number of Marc Chagall paintings, including The Pinch of Snuff, The Cattle Dealer and I and the Village, were filled with love and nostalgia. The Marc Chagall paintings remained immersed in nostalgia during the First World War. The difference in Marc's paintings during the war was their becoming very multifaceted in their representation of everyday life.

During this period, the Marc Chagall paintings completed included Window at the Dacha, War, Red Jew, Feast of the Tabernacles, Birthday, Pink Lovers, The Promenade and Bella with White Collar.

War reflected human grief and hardships of war. Red Jew and Feast of the Tabernacles were strongly religious Marc Chagall paintings resulting from intensification of the Jewish persecution. The last 4 Marc Chagall paintings were lyrical works filled with love towards a woman named Bella.

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