I noticed that there are a lot of people visiting this page of mine. Can you please let me know what prompted your interest in this Matisse Painting? I am very curious. Here is a list of old comments about this painting [click here]. Please add your new comments at the bottom of this post.
Bathers with a Turtle, 1908
oil on canvas
70 1/2 x 86 3/4 inches
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Pulitzer, Jr. 24:1964
Among the first of the 20th-century French painters to break completely with observed reality, Henri Matisse focused on color, pattern, and decoration. He believed in the simplicity of idea and line, breaking things down to what he saw as their simplest elements. Matisse’s work was strongly influenced by the Impressionists and by Oriental art, particularly the designs and colors of the Near East.
Like Picasso’s famous Les Demoiselles d’Avignon of just a year earlier, to which Matisse may have been responding in this painting, Bathers with a Turtle presents three nude female figures. Placed in a landscape of bands of color, the women seem more interested in the feeding of a small red turtle, an ancient symbol for eternity, than in relating to each other.
�1996 Copyright The Saint Louis Art Museum