1905 (165 Kb); Oil and tempera on canvas, 40.5 x 32.5 cm (15 7/8 x 12 7/8 in); Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Copenhagen
In his green stripe portrait of his wife, he has used color alone to describe the image. Her oval face is bisected with a slash of green and her coiffure, purpled and top-knotted, juts against a frame of three jostling colors. Her right side repeats the vividness of the intrusive green; on her left, the mauve and orange echo the colors of her dress. This is Matisse's version of the dress, his creative essay in harmony.
Matisse painted this unusual portrait of his wife in 1905. The green stripe down the center of Amélie Matisse's face acts as an artificial shadow line and divides the face in the conventional portraiture style, with a light and a dark side, Matisse divides the face chromatically, with a cool and warm side. The natural light is translated directly into colors and the highly visible brush strokes add to the sense of artistic drama.