There is so much to say about colour and we must resist the temptation not to go on for too long. But a little on the Colour Revolution which started with Monet and the Impressionists but burst into life with Matisse and the Fauvists.

Henri Matisse (1869-1954) is credited with revolutionising attitudes towards colour. But we know from Jane’s blog on the Australian Impressionist John Russell, Matisse credited Russell with teaching him a different way to look at colour. So let's take a little more of a look at the works by John Russell as we see him in a new light.  


From the research done by the Art Gallery of New South Wales we learn that Russell worked on lightening his palette and using colour as a texture through the application of thickly layered paint. As pointed out by the NSW Art Gallery every stroke was carefully considered contrary to the popular belief that Impressionists painted spontaneously. Russell in fact repainted In the Afternoon in his desire to achieve more vibrant colours!

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

(Source: Wikipedia)

(Source: Artnet)

The Fauvists *shared the use of intense colour as a vehicle for describing light and space, and  redefined pure colour and form as a means of communicating the artist's emotional state.(

Towards the end of his painting life, Matisse sometimes returned to more sombre colours as illustrated in Odalisque (1920-21). Perhaps these paintings reflect the troubles and sadness that were in his life at this time as he fought cancer and problems in his personal life.

I hope you have enjoyed this journey into the world of colour. Do remember however that before Matisse and Russell, Monet had already begun to question the way colours were being used. A little more reading for the devotees of colour and Monet.

I do have a little more to say on colour- the colour orange! Something in the skies above Australia a couple of days ago reminded of the power of Orange, Orange/Red and Red. Talk to you all tomorrow.