Comparison of two artist’s arguments and works

The works of Matisse have left an indelible mark in the society. However, despite the depth of creativity and mass of technical application in his paintings, criticism has been there. Critical evaluation of the two articles offers an insight into the different opinions and criticisms pointed towards the art works of Matisse. A comparative analysis of the articles in question unravels the sensitivity of Matisse’s paintings, the diverse interpretive approached by scholars and core themes addressed. Although Matisse was exceptional in using color, texture, line and spacing to produce magnificent paintings, motive behind some of his works elicit mixed reactions from scholars. Specific paintings, timeline and the expected audience reaction takes center stage when comparing and contrasting the two articles.

Bois, Yves-Alan and Greg Sims, “On Matisse: The Blinding: For Leo Steinberg”, October, vol.68 (Spring 1994), pp. 60-121.

This article emphasizes Matisse’s ingenuity in as far as painting is concerned. Although the work was originally written by Yves-Alan, Greg translated it and explored just how Matisse dedicated his time to produce such inexplicable quality of painting. In this article, the author is wondering about the rare consistency on application of painting techniques to keep the flame of beauty always burning. It is worth to point out the author’s categorical explanation of how it takes keen look to see through the paintings of Matisse. Although Matisse lived in the transition to modernity, his paintings brought a new perception about life and reflected beyond post-modernism. The contentious debate on 1905 Fauve scandal seems to have motivated Matisse to come up with the set piece.  Le bonheur de vivre is deemed to be the greatest breakthrough of Matisse among his critics and fellow artists of his time.

The author discusses the depth of knowledge and critical analysis required for one to understand what it takes to produce such painting like Le bonheur de vivre. The landscape that reflected the natural setting of parts of France, dispersion of human figures and use of color tone variation impresses the author. While a section of scholars held mixed views towards Matisse’s motive, the author appreciates the level of artistic competency and relevance of the painting in question. The overriding assumption is that Matisse had an agenda to expose the beauty of man within nature.

Werth, Margaret, “Engendering Imaginary Modernism: Henri Matisse’s Bonheur de vivre”,Genders, no. 9 (Fall 1990), pp. 49-74.

Werth is among the main scholars that delivers constructive critique on the works of Matisse. In this case, the painting of Le bonheur de vivre evokes a debate in respect of Matisse’s gender based painting. In regard to most of the art works of Matisse, the nude figure of women is emphasized. This resulted to the debate on his view on sexuality through artistic presentation. In essence, the title of the work is about engendering imaginary modernism. The title is relevant to the raging debate on what motive Matisse had in exploring female nudity in most of the painting. However, critical assessment of the article shows that Matisse was addressing the centrality of sexuality in the society.

The power of a woman’s nudity was at first seen as erotic but the aim of Matisse is different. He is simply exploring the aesthetic aspect of painting and the need to understand the effectiveness of impression painting can provide. Though men are also in the painting in question, emphasis on the appearance of female and particularly use of lines to exaggerate their figures and key anatomical features override the presence of men. In fact, the theme of the article is on feminism a portrayed by Matisse. Literary analysis of the work is still achievable from evident skewed interest towards female nude appearance. Blending background color with sharp lines that distinguish people in the painting enhances visual impression and justifies the goals. The assumption of the author on Matisse’s in put on Le bonheur de vivre is that gender takes center stage in defining beauty.

Comparison of the two articles shows relative thematic differences. While Greg emphasizes that the painting was a work of its own kind in the century, Werth sees feminism agenda through its literary lens. In other words, Greg gives more weight to the accuracy of Matisse in applying painting techniques and mixing styles to produce such a wonderful piece. Beside, one needs to have more than eyes to read the mind of Matisse in this piece of art. On the other hand, Werth interpret the intention of Matisse in this painting from the previous items and notes a consistent characteristics that points towards gender difference versus beauty. The obvious intention of Matisse in the view of Greg is aesthetics while Werth sees additional feature in undisputable significance of human sexuality in elevating the concept of beauty. However, the two articles converge in appreciating the skills that were represented by Le bonheur de vivre .Either way, Matisse foresaw the modernism era while painting and that fact promotes understanding of the otherwise complex mind portrayed in the painting.


It is worth concluding that Matisse left scholars and audience to his work in a state of suspense, but communicating to the modern generation through astute use of color to uphold the artistic ingenuity.


Get a 10 % discount on an order above $ 100
Use the following coupon code :