Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


Channeling Matisse in Morocco

[Moroccan Amido, Henri Matisse. Oil on canvas. 1912. The State Hermitage Museum.]

The other day I checked out a library book, Matisse in Morocco: The Paintings and Drawings, 1912-1913. (Hard to believe I don't already own it, but color-savvy Charleston-based designer Angie Hranowsky does.) It's actually the exhibition catalouge from an extraordinary 1990 show at the National Gallery in D.C. Never before had so many of Matisse's Moroccan works been shown all together. Paintings and drawings were loaned from collections around the globe.

[Clockwise from the top left: Pat McGann Hilltribe embroidery pillow; Found French chair; John Robshaw table; peach ranunculus ;Jayson Home and Garden tealight holders.]

Of course the color combinations in the artist's figural drawings of native Moroccans he met are so striking. I couldn't resist using the hues as a jumping off point for a few cozy reading-corner finds. Like the exhibition's participating institutions and collectors, these pieces come from near and far.

[Zorah Debout, Henri Matisse. Oil on canvas. 1912. The State Hermitage Museum.]

[Both rug options are from Keivan in Atlanta and both are indeed vintage Moroccan. The raspberry is 1930s; the tangerine 1920s. The linen settee and pale lavender pillow are from Wisteria. Barely visible is a terrific greenish water bottle from Blenko in West Virginia. The deeper rich green comes from a fig leaf tree, and the dark pink Thai silk pillow is from John Robshaw.]

[Sur La Terrasse, Henri Matisse. Oil on canvas. 1912-1913. The State Pushkin Museum of Fine Art.] 

Sur La Terrasse really has the most beautiful dark blue-ish purple mixed with turquoise and hints of super-pale pink, yellow, and reddish-brown.

For some reason my mind went to Anthro's African pendant light.

Lastly, if sublimely subtle color mixes are what you're after, look no further than Zorah en Jaune (1912, private collection). In the catalogue, the background is described as a "scumbled blue-green." Zorah's robe is more wheat than yellow, and there are little jolts of raspberry-pink and purple along with rusty orange.

[Block and Brayer's made-in-the-U.S. mini stripe.]

[From the Mint Museum's permanent collection of North Carolina pottery, earthenware Han Vase created by Benjamin Wade Owen circa 1937. Don't miss the museum's pottery microsite.]


Anonymous said...

How did I miss this post - and the Birds of Japan one? Anyway, so glad I stumbled across it - I still have serious Matisse on the mind after the Met - and I think this is one of your all around inspired ones!

Style Court said...

Thanks, Jacqueline! Matisse in Morocco has become my new/old favorite book.