Matisse’s Self-Portrait Sketching (1900)

In this simple pen and ink drawing from early in Matisse's career the French master draws himself with only one eye. Anyone at all familiar with the tradition of an artist's insight and out-sight will recognize that the monocular eye represents perception of the exterior world while the blank eye represents insight. The manner in which that missing eye, requiring no drawing at all, conveys its meaning is, once you think about it, a masterpiece of poetic concision.

Captions for image(s) above:

Matisse, Self-Portrait Sketching (1900) Private Collection. 

Click image to enlarge.


Originally published 29th Sept. 2010

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