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“野兽国王”——马蒂斯

2006-07-09 13:10

  “Instinct must be thwarted just as one prunes the branches of a tree so that it will grow better.”

  —— Henri Matisse

  Matisse, Master of Color   The art of our century has been dominated[1] by two men: Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. They are artists of classical greatness, and their visionary forays into new art have changed our understanding of the world. Matisse was the elder[2] of the two, but he was a slower and more methodical man by temperament and it was Picasso who initially made the greater splash[3]. Matisse, like Raphael, was a born leader and taught and encouraged other painters, while Picasso, like Michelangelo, inhibited them with his power: he was a natural czar.

  Matisse's artistic career was long and varied, covering many different styles of painting from Impressionism to near Abstraction. His art has an astonishing force and lives by innate right in a paradise world into which Matisse draws all his viewers. He gravitated to the beautiful and produced some of the most powerful beauty ever painted. He was a man of anxious temperament[4], just as Picasso, who saw him as his only rival[5]. Both artists, in their own fashion, dealt with these disturbances through the sublimation of painting: Picasso destroyed his fear of women in his art, while Matisse coaxed his nervous tension into serenity. He spoke of his art as being like “a good armchair”—— a ludicrously inept comparison for such a brilliant man—— but his art was a respite, a reprieve, a comfort to him.

  Matisse initially became famous as the “King of the Fauves”, an inappropriate name for this gentlemanly intellectual: there was no wildness in him, though there was much passion. He is an awesomely controlled artist, and his spirit, his mind, always had the upper hand over[6] the “beast” of Fauvism[7].

  注释:

  1.dominate: 动词dominate 是“统治;支配”,可以和介词 over 连用。比如:A great man can dominate (over) others by the force of character. 伟人能以人格的力量支配其他人。

  2.elder: old 的比较级不单是 older , 还可以是 elder.但两者的用法有很大差别,older 是我们所熟悉的,重点讲讲elder ,elder只能作定语,表示“(家庭中或两个指明的人中)年龄较长的,比如:My elder brother works in Beijing. 那么你是兄弟姐妹中的the elder 还是 the younger呢?

  3.make a splash: splash: 是“飞溅;飞溅声”,那么make a splash是“发出很大的飞溅声来引人注目”,引申一下就是“炫耀财富,摆排场”的意思。

  4.temperament:temper 是指“心情、脾气”,而 temperament 则是“气质,性情”。比如我们常说的:心情好,是 in a good temper; 说一个人气质好是用 temperament, 比如:a girl with an artistic temperament. 带艺术家气质的女孩。

  5.rival: rival 是“竞争者、对手”,在生意上的对手是:a rival in trade;在感情上的对手自然是情敌:a rival in love. 另外,rival 还可以表达“可与之相媲美的人(或物)。

  6.have (get) the upper hand on (over) someone: 与人格斗时,如果能用胳膊压住对方,就占了上风。have the upper hand over sb. 就是表达“占上风”,比如:One team managed to get the upper hand in the end.

  7.Fauvism:野兽派,法国现代画派之一(1905~1907)。此画派多以风景、静物和室内人物为题材,爱用粗大线条和强烈色彩去描绘夸张变形的形象,以取得“单纯化”的效果,摒弃西欧传统中的明暗光影和细节描写。

  色彩大师——马蒂斯

  “直觉就像树枝,必须经过修剪才能长得更茂盛。”

  ——亨利·马蒂斯

  本世纪的艺术被两个人所主宰:亨利·马蒂斯和帕勃洛·毕加索。他们是古典艺术的巅峰画家,他们用丰富的幻想创造出了新的艺术形式,也改变了我们对世界的理解。马蒂斯是两者中年龄较长的一个,但是他的性情却比较慢而且比较有条理性。因此开始时,引起人们注意的是毕加索。马蒂斯象拉斐尔,是一个天生的领导者,他教导并鼓励其他画家,而毕加索则是米开朗基罗,用他的力量来抑制其他画家,是一个天生的沙皇。

  马蒂斯的绘画事业漫长而风格多变,从印象主义到近抽象主义,涵盖了许多不同的绘画风格。他的艺术有一种令人震憾的力量,画中的形象仿佛是与生俱来就生活在伊甸园中,马蒂斯用他的艺术把观众拉进这个伊甸园里。他被美丽的事物所吸引,并且创造出一些最具魅力的美丽形象。就象毕加索一样,马蒂斯性情急躁,而毕加索恰恰把马蒂斯看作唯一能与他相媲美的艺术家。两位艺术家分别用他们自己的风格,通过对绘画艺术的升华来排除这些干扰:毕加索在他的画中粉碎了他对女人的恐惧心理,而马蒂斯则把他紧张的神经在绘画中转为安详与平静。马蒂斯曾形容他的艺术是“一把舒适的扶手椅”——对于这样一位伟大的画家来说,这是个非常不恰当的比喻——但是艺术之与马蒂斯的确是种解脱,是种安慰。

  马蒂斯最初以“野兽国王”的称号闻名,其实这个称号对于这位文雅的知识分子并不适宜:尽管他很有激情,但并不狂野。马蒂斯是位很自制的艺术家,他的精神,他的头脑远远胜过了野兽派的画家。

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