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The exploration of exterior space allowed Matisse to question the legacy of Impressionism. In contrast to the passive eye of the Impressionist painter, which aimed to submerge itself in nature and fuse with it, Matisse often arranged his compositions as if seen from a balcony or window, thus emphasising the distance from the horizon and the contrived nature of pictorial fiction.

Seated Woman, Back Turned to the Open Window
Conversation Under the Olive Trees
Henri Matisse
Seated Woman, Back Turned to the Open Window, c. 1922
(Femme assise, le dos torné vers la fenêtre ouverte)
Oil on canvas. 73,3 x 92,50 cm
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts,
Purchase, John W. Tempest Fund
Henri Matisse
Conversation Under the Olive Trees, 1921
(La Conversation sous les oliviers)
Oil on canvas. 100 x 82 cm
Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection on deposit in the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
© Succession H. Matisse / VEGAP 2009