Jul 10, 2007

The Windshield, On the Road to Villacoublay

The Windshield, On the Road to Villacoublay


Henri Matisse

(French, 1869–1954)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 58 x 75 x 7 cm (22 13/16 x 29 1/2 x 2 3/4 in.); Unframed: 38.2 x 55.2 cm (15 1/16 x 21 3/4 in.)

Bequest of Lucia McCurdy McBride in memory of John Harris McBride II 1972.225



Henri Matisse painted this unusual view of a road and the surrounding rural landscape in summer of 1917 while being chauffeured by his son Pierre toward an airport on the outskirts of Paris. Seized by the novel idea of depicting the road from inside the car, Matisse asked his son to pull over so he could begin painting. Although forced to keep the windows shut, and despite passing traffic rocking the old Renault back and forth, Matisse managed to create a novel view of life in the modern automobile age.

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