In this painting Matisse shows his studio, the place where he made art, which was very important to him. Notice how he painted his artworks differently from the other objects, like the table, dresser, and clock.
Matisse’s actual studio wasn’t red, but he liked the way the color red brought everything in the painting together. Think about a place that is special to you. What would you include if you painted this place? What colors would you use?
Kids label from 2019, updated in 2023
"Where I got the color red—to be sure, I just don't know," Matisse once remarked. "I find that all these things . . . only become what they are to me when I see them together with the color red." This painting features a small retrospective of Matisse's recent painting, sculpture, and ceramics, displayed in his studio. The artworks appear in color and in detail, while the room's architecture and furnishings are indicated only by negative gaps in the red surface. The composition's central axis is a grandfather clock without hands—it is as if, in the oasis of the artist's studio, time were suspended.
Gallery label from 2006