Interior (La Fenêtre Fermée) (Primary Title)

Henri Matisse, French, 1869 - 1954 (Artist)

oil on canvas
Unframed (2005 frame): 21 1/4 × 17 1/2 in. (53.98 × 44.45 cm)
Framed: 29 × 25 5/16 × 2 9/16 in. (73.66 × 64.29 × 6.51 cm)

Studying under Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau at the École des Beaux-Arts in the 1890s, Matisse met Marquet and other core members of the Fauvist group. Paul Signac later converted him to his method of painting characterized by vibrant chromatic effects. The controversy caused by Matisse’s paintings at the Salon d’Automne in 1905 provoked his ongoing pursuit of resolutely disruptive combinations of form, color, and line.

Interior is among the earliest works from Matisse’s period in the south of France between 1917 and 1930. After World War I, he suffered from tuberculosis and frequently stayed in Nice, on the French Riviera. The calm Mediterranean light inspired him to paint more intimate canvases depicting still lifes and interiors. This work represents the view from the hotel room where he periodically sojourned between 1918 and 1921. The pink effulgence achieves equilibrium with the bands of soft blue in the composition. The resulting harmony communicates something of the pleasurable sensation Matisse experienced while gazing upon the charming seascape during this period of recuperation.
Signed lower left: "Henri Matisse"
Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon
2019-2020: "Van Gogh Monet Degas, The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts", Palazzo Zabarella, Padua, Italy, October 26, 2019 - March 1, 2020

2019-2021: Van Gogh, Monet, Degas, and Their Times: The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN, February 2 - May 5, 2019; Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MS, April 4, 2020 - January 10, 2021

2018-2019: "Van Gogh, Monet, Degas: The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts", The Frick Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, March 17 - July 15, 2018; Oklahoma Museum of Art, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, June 22 - September 22, 2019

1988: “Henry Matisse,” Musee Isetan, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Oct. 22-Nov. 17, 1987; Musee Prefactoral d’Art de Yamaguchi, Nov. 20-Dec. 27, 1987; Musee d’Art de Daimaru, Shinsaibashi, Osaka, Jan. 3-Jan. 18, 1988; Musee d’Art de Sogo, Yokohama, Feb. 10-March 27, 1988; cat. No. 26, pp. 125, 148 (illus.), color illus.

1986-1987: “Henri Matisse, The Early Years in Nice, 1916-1930,” National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, Nov. 2, 1986-March 29, 1987 [ as "Interieur"] and [as "The Closed Window" in January 1987 Calendar of Events]

1948: “A Selection of Paintings from the Durand-Ruel Galleries,” Durand-Ruel Galleries, New York, 1948; Vol. II, illus. pl. XVIII

“A Century of French Painting,” M. Knoedler & Co., New York, Nov. 12-Dec. 8, 1928, No. 44

“Opening Exhibition of the Modern Foreign Gallery,” National Gallery Millbank, London, June-Oct. 1926

“Exhibition of the Works of Some of the Most Eminent French Painters of Today,” The Galleries of Mr. Alex Reid, Glasgow, October 1924

“Oeuvres recentes de Henri-Matisse,” Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, May 2-16, 1919, No. 28
©artist or artist’s estate

Curator’s Talk: The Reinstallation of the Mellon Collection

The collection of European paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts given by Paul and Rachel Mellon constitute an essential facet of the museum’s identity. Dr. Sylvain Cordier, Paul Mellon Curator and Head of the Department of European Art, discusses the reinstallation of the Mellon Collection.

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