Henri Matisse, Luxe, calme et volupté

Henri Matisse, Luxe, calme et volupté, 1904, oil on canvas, 37 x 46″ (Museé d’Orsay, Paris)

Painted while the artist stayed with the pointillist painter, Signac, at his home in Saint-Tropez on the Côte d’Azur. Matisse’s title comes from Charles Baudelaire’s poem, “L’invitation au voyage (Invitation To A Voyage)” from his collection, The Flowers of Evil. “Luxe, calme et volupté” translates just as it sounds in English: “Luxury, calm, and voluptuous(ness).”


Key points:

– Luxe, calme et volupté borrows from the Neo-Impressionist style in its brushwork, but does not adopt Neo-Impressionism’s approach to color.
– Rather, this painting anticipates the Fauves’s imaginative use of expressive color.
– Color and form are key ways that early 20th-century artists began to abandon representation for abstraction.

Cite this page as: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker, "Henri Matisse, Luxe, calme et volupté," in Smarthistory, November 20, 2015, accessed June 14, 2024, https://smarthistory.org/henri-matisse-luxe-calme-et-volupte/.