In Landscape at Collioure, Henri Matisse applied oil paint to an unprimed canvas, mostly with quick, sketchy brushstrokes and sometimes using paint directly from the tube. Though he left parts of the canvas unpainted, so that its raw, woven surface shows through between his brushstrokes, this painting is considered a finished work.
Landscape at Collioure reflects the point at which Matisse began to use a more instinctive, spontaneous way of painting, unparalleled among his contemporaries. The landscapes he painted in the summer of 1905 were “wilder, more reckless than any subsequently produced in his career,” according to Matisse scholar and former MoMA curator John Elderfield. “In the works of that period color speaks for itself with a directness previously unknown in Western painting, and speaks directly too of the emotional response to the natural world that required changing the color of this world the better to render that emotion.”