Matisse once said that he wanted his art to have the effect of a good armchair on a tired businessman. In the 1960s, when we all believed art could still change the world, this seemed a limited aim, but in fact one can only admire Matisse's common sense. He, at least, was under no illusions about his audience.
For sure, he wants to bring you into the paintings: to make you fall into it, like walking through the looking-glass. Indeed, Matisse once said that he wanted his art to have the effect of a good armchair on a tired businessman
Matisse said that he wanted his art to have the same effect as a comfortable armchair on a tired businessman and many of the paintings he left us seem to be the view from that armchair. 'The Egyptian Curtain' is one such view.
"What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter, an art which could be for every mental worker, be he businessman or writer, like an appeasing influence, like a mental soother, something like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue"
Barr, Alfred H. (1966) Matisse: His Art and His Public, New York: Arno Press