Bathers. Two Nudes in an Exotic Landscape
The new Fauve paintings of Henri Matisse, George Braque and André Derain caused a huge stir at the Paris Autumn Salon in 1905. The young Jean Metzinger immediately adopted the new movement’s synthetic forms and pure, antinatural colours. Two Nudes in an Exotic Landscape, which shows two female bodies in an arcadian setting, belongs to a group of paintings infused with a certain symbolism that were executed that year. The artist combines the Divisionist or Neo-Impressionist style of his previous works with a range of Fauve colours, especially in the exotic features of the landscape.
While Metzinger aspired to achieve a ‘chromatic poetry’, the vertical format and symmetry of the composition and the geometric structure of the tiles of pigment that cover the entire picture surface, like a Divisionist mosaic, depart from the expressive quality of the Fauves. The geometric tendency already apparent in his work increased during the Cubist period.
The painter defined each brushstroke as a syllable whose rhythm and homogeneous arrangement gave rise to sentences and paragraphs with a chromatic syntax that translates the different emotions aroused by nature.