Is Matisse’s "Bathers with a Turtle" a Cubist Painting?
Venue Cover Image Vol 1 No 1 2022


Matisse, Henri
Braque, Georges
Picasso, Pablo
Manguin, Henri
pictorial convention
transparency in art
bathers in art


Matisse’s enigmatic composition has resoundingly defied interpretation. What appears to show an easily understood action does not resolve into a coherent story. Did Matisse deliberately thwart his viewers’ anticipated satisfaction? By subverting expectations Matisse may have been exploring an alternative to modernist primitivism, which similarly challenged European art’s traditions of making meaning. For Matisse ambiguity may have been an instrument in the service of his broader goal, which was to create a modernist decoration.

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