What is the first thing that you see? This is the focal point. The focal point is what first draws your eye, something that stands out. Hint — The flowers, particularly the white flowers are the focal point.
List the colors you see in this painting. How many are there? Are they repeated? Hint — Matisse has used a basic secondary color scheme in this painting. The vibrant colors are quieted by the use of black, grey and white.
What is a pattern? Hint — A repetition of line, color, and shape to create a type of texture is a pattern. How many different patterns to you see? Look closely to notice all the patterns are a variation of the vertical stripe. By changing the stripe, through color and line, Matisse has added interest to the work and repeated a theme through repetition.
Why do you think Matisse called this painting the Purple Robe? Why not call it the white flowers or striped walls?
Do you think he knew this lady? Could it have been a sister, aunt, or friend?
Why do you think he chose to flatten everything out in this painting? Hint — He was a type of rebel and enjoyed going against the rules. The flatness of the painting seems to agree with the wild choice of colors. It serves to upset the balance.
Do you think the wild colors would be as effective without the flatness or use of perspective? Since the woman appears to be so flat in the painting she almost looks like she is standing up. The table is at a definite slant and the floor goes up hill. Matisse knew how to use perspective because of his formal training as an artist.