Henri Matisse (1869-1954), Zulma, 1950
The subject of Zulma is a nude in an interior; a recurring feature in countless of Matisse’s earlier paintings and sculptures.
Here, however, she has been reduced to simply being a sign for woman, a coloured silhouette. The same is true of the space around the figure and the effect of light and shadow.
Planes of colour interacting
Each element has been transformed to planes of colour interacting in accordance with the same principles used in Portrait of Madame Matisse, painted 45 years before.
The paper cut-out
This paper cut-out is a prominent example of Matisse’s work from the last decade of his life. Through several phases of his career Matisse was absorbed by the relationship between colour and line.
The paper cut-outs allowed him to work with both; he would “draw” by cutting coloured paper, thereby breaking down the barrier between the two.