Henri Matisse (1869-1954), Interior with a Violin, 1918
The interior was painted in Nice during the first half of 1918.
Matisse arrived in Nice a few months earlier and stayed at the Hôtel Beau-Rivage, also using it as his studio at first.
The hotel room as motif
The motif of this painting is the hotel room and its window facing the beach and the sea. The contrast between outside and inside, light and darkness plays a major part in the painting, but so does the contrast between two different idioms.
Two different idioms
The indoor interior is depicted in an abstract, plane-oriented style that points back to Matisse’s paintings from the preceding years. The glimpse of nature is rendered in the naturalist style that would characterise his art in the following years.
This new orientation towards a less abstract and more "realistic" idiom around 1918 was not unique to Matisse; it applied to many artists on the Paris scene.