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Video transcript

we're the Musee d'Orsay and we're looking at a really early and important unruhe Matisse this is luxe calme a veloute and the title comes right in the subject comes from a poem by baudelaire and it's a really enigmatic painting and one that I think we should locate in its making it was made during a summer trip to the seaside with one of the great post-impressionist painter sin yak who was a pointillist and so you can clearly see the influence of that art of the art of sera of Xenia here but this is not pointillism you know it does use these little brush strokes which have pieces of independent color but it's using it in a way that really in a sense doesn't understand or isn't interested in the optical effects thats in yak was interested in there are much more intense colors they're very vivid and saturated colors used very unnatural listicle II not used the way that Sara was interested in terms of increasing luminosity here the colors are almost an affront to the senses there are threads in purple that's an orange that's perfect because the next year Matisse with a number of other painters will become known as LaFave the wild beasts that's right using color in such radical and aggressive ways that they're accused of being madmen and you can definitely see that beginning to happen here but this is a painting that's meant to have a kind of classical aspect to it it's not meant to be sort of aggressive innocence with a real tension here is between this notion of luxury of calm of this kind of ideal almost class-a size and of course this wildly imaginative use of color but there's also attention between the forms themselves which seem classical and creative in a way where lying is primarily important it's beautiful harmonious lines and the arrangement between the figures that might remind us of Garrett of proving to Siobhan or in say zan's be there's a structured relationship of forms and that in contrast with this wild color which we're it's creating this tremendously activated surface where it seems like the paint is constantly shifting and in motion seems so antithetical to job right a very subject matter it's an artist who's in total flux who's looking for a pathway who's looking to understand what painting can now do what to do with this extraordinary freedom that is available to the artist at the beginning of the 20th century exactly I think that the artist at the end of the 19th century had bequeathed to the artists of the early 20th century this incredible freedom in terms of color in terms of thinking about the painting is an independent unit and structure that could have its own internal organization a sense of subjectivity of the interior arity of the artist is important and one feels that this is a moment of transition and yet the painting itself is a tour de force it's an incredibly beautiful thing to look at even with all of its internal contradictions