The Windshield, On the Road to Villacoublay

The Windshield, On the Road to Villacoublay

1917

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

Description

Matisse painted this canvas in the summer of 1917 while being chauffeured by his son Pierre toward an airport on the outskirts of Paris. Suddenly, Matisse decided to paint the road from inside the car, which proved challenging, as zooming traffic forced the artist to keep the windows shut and constantly rocked the old Renault back and forth. Matisse nonetheless produced a novel view of life in the modern automobile age.

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