The Dinner Table by Matisse

I love to see how  a painter’s style has evolved. Sometimes is a sudden change or sometimes is a more gradual change, and you can see paintings of the same subject done in slightly different versions.

Today’s post is on The Dinner Table by Henri Matisse.

Matisse-Dinner-tableThe Dinner Table by Henri Matisse, 1897

This is one of Matisse’s early paintings. By looking at the brush strokes, we can see that Matisse was still really influenced by Impressionism.

Matisse then changed his painting style, getting closer to what was defined as Fauvism. Matisse once said that his aim was to discover “the essential character of things” and to produce an art “of balance, purity, and serenity.” Even with his style changes, he always came back to these concepts.

His later works are very different, but still maintain some similarity. In The Desert: Harmony in Red (1908) we can see how Matisse still produces a pure and balanced work, focusing on the delicacy of subjects, many times women in their daily lives.

Matisse-Henri_The-Dinner-Table-Harmony-in-Red_1908The Desert: Harmony in Red by Henri Matisse, 1908

We can see similarities in these paintings. Both women have the same body language, they are setting the table for a meal, there is fruit on the table. The backgrounds, the color and the countour line are very different.  I really like the bright colors in the second one, but I like how precise and detailed the first one is.

As for today’s recipe, here is a recipe that uses pears, which can be abundantly found in the first painting. When I think of pears, I think of them drenched in chocolate sauce like these poached pears. It’s a dish that my mother would make during late fall for dessert.




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