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An introduction to the life of henri matisse a french artist

See Article History Alternative Title: He was the leader of the Fauvist movement about 1900, and he pursued the expressiveness of colour throughout his career. His subjects were largely domestic or figurative, and a distinct Mediterranean verve presides in the treatment. Formative years Matisse, whose parents were in the grain business, displayed little interest in art until he was 20 years old.

From 1882 to 1887 he attended the secondary school in Saint-Quentin; after a year of legal studies in Parishe returned to Saint-Quentin and became a clerk in a law office.

Soon he was decorating the home of his grandparents at Le Cateau. In 1891 he abandoned the law and returned to Paris to become a professional artist. Matisse did not, however, become a member of the avant-garde right away.

Revolutionary years

That Matisse should have begun his studies in such a conservative school may seem surprising, and he once explained the fact by saying that he was acting on the recommendation of a Saint-Quentin painter of hens and poultry yards. His earliest canvases are in the 17th-century Dutch manner favoured by the French Realists of the 1850s. Moreau, a tolerant teacher, did not try to impose his own style on his pupils but rather encouraged them to develop their personalities and to learn from the treasures in the Louvre.

He was elected an associate member of the Salon society, and his Woman Reading 1894 was purchased by the government.

  1. His early work in three dimensions, the first of some 60 pieces he executed during his lifetime, reveals the influence not only of Rodin but also of Antoine-Louis Barye , generally considered the greatest French sculptor of animals.
  2. He is also considered one of the leading figures of modern art as his paintings and art influenced many artists throughout the 20th century.
  3. He began to winter on the French Riviera, and by the early 1920s he was mostly a resident of Nice or its environs.
  4. Often he was obliged to work on his mural-sized projects from a studio bed with the aid of a crayon attached to a long pole. He had begun by agreeing to design some stained-glass windows, had gone on to do murals, and had wound up by designing nearly everything inside and outside, including vestments and liturgical objects.
  5. Master of Colour by Volkmar Essers Book 41 editions published between 1950 and 2013 in 9 languages and held by 822 WorldCat member libraries worldwide Henri Matisse 1869-1954 is known not only as one of the most important French painters of the 20th century but also as co-founder and leading exponent of Fauvism. He spent a year studying art at the Academie Julian in Paris, but left to train under the artist Gustave Moreau, where he could explore more modern styles of painting.

From this point onward he became increasingly confident and venturesome, both as an artist and as a man. During the next two years he undertook expeditions to Brittany, met the veteran Impressionist Camille Pissarroand discovered the series of Impressionist masterpieces in the Gustave Caillebotte Collection, which had just been donated—amid protests from conservatives—to the French nation. His colours became, for a while, lighter in hue and at the same time more intense. In 1897 he took his first major step toward stylistic liberation and created a minor scandal at the Salon with The Dinner Table, in which he combined a Pierre-Auguste Renoir kind of luminosity with a firmly classical composition in deep red and green.

Turnerand working in Corsicawhere he received a lasting impression of Mediterranean sunlight and colour. Portrait of Madame Matisse. Often accompanied by his close friend Albert Marquet, who was also interested in the problem of pure colour, he began to paint outdoor scenes in the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, in suburban Arcueil, and from the open window of his apartment overlooking the Seine.

Matisse also purchased from Vollard the plaster model of the bust of Henri Rochefort by Auguste Rodinand during 1899 he began to attend an evening class in sculpture. His early work in three dimensions, the first of some 60 pieces he executed during his lifetime, reveals the influence not only of Rodin but also of Antoine-Louis Baryegenerally considered the greatest French sculptor of animals.

After 1899 Matisse ceased to exhibit at the Salon and gradually became a familiar figure in the Parisian circles where modern art was being produced and ardently discussed.

But in spite of such recognition, he was often on the brink of financial disaster. His wife opened a dress shop in the hope of helping to make ends meet.

An introduction to the life of henri matisse a french artist

In 1901 an attack of bronchitis forced him to take a long rest. The carefully placed little dabs required by the additive-mixture approach turned into swirls and slabs of spontaneous brushwork, and the theoretically realistic colours exploded into an emotional display of complementaries: Representative of this new freedom were Open Window, Collioure, which was finished at Collioure, and Woman with Hat, a portrait of his wife painted back in Paris in September.

Almost immediately Matisse became its acknowledged leader. Almost immediately, too, his financial situation altered for the better. In 1907 a group of admirers, who included Sarah Stein and Hans Purrmann, organized for him a Left Bank art school, in which he taught off and on until an introduction to the life of henri matisse a french artist.

Fauvism was too undisciplined to last long, and soon its adherents were moving, according to their temperaments, toward ExpressionismCubismor some kind of neo-traditionalism.

He had, however, too much rationalism in his outlook not to wish for some order in a stylistic situation that threatened to become chaotic, and his search for chromatic equilibrium and linear economy can be followed in a series of major works produced between the revelation of Fauvism in 1905 and the end of World War I. The forms tend to be outlined in flowing, heavy contours and to have few interior details; the colour is laid on in large, thin, luminous, carefully calculated patches; shadows are practically eliminated; and the depicted space is either extremely shallow or warped into a flatness that parallels the plane of the canvas and defies academic rules for perspective and foreshortening.

The total effect, although too intense and freehand to be merely decorative, may recall the patterns of the rugs, textiles, and ceramics of the Islamic world. The choice and treatment of subject matter imply optimism, hedonism, intelligence, a fastidious sensuality, and, in spite of the many studies of both clothed and unclothed women, scarcely a trace of conventional sentiment. In 1913 he was represented by 13 pictures in the much-discussed, much-lambasted New York Armory Showand, when the exhibition arrived in Chicago, he was given some useful publicity by the burning—happily, merely in effigy—of his Blue Nude 1907.

But middle agegrowing affluence, an established international reputation, the disruptions of World War I, and a distaste for public commotion gradually combined to isolate him from the centres of avant-gardism. He began to winter on the French Riviera, and by the early 1920s he was mostly a resident of Nice or its environs.

His pictures became less daring in conception and less economical in means.

Matisse, Henri 1869-1954

Like many of the painters and composers during these years notably Pablo Picasso and Igor StravinskyMatisse relaxed into a modernized sort of classicism. Such typically Nice-period works as the Odalisque with Magnolias 1923—24 and Decorative Figure on an Ornamental Background 1925—26however, are masterpieces that deserve their popularity.

Photograph by Beesnest McClain. Loew in memory of his father, Marcus Loew, M. Bathers by a RiverCurators and scientists collaborating to colourize a black-and-white photograph, taken in 1913, that shows an unfinished version of Henri Matisse's Bathers by a River.

Courtesy of Northwestern University Prosperity did not make Matisse less industrious. He returned to sculpture, which he had neglected for several years, and by 1930 he had completed his fourth and most nearly abstract version of The Back, a monumental female nude in relief, on which he had been working at intervals since 1909.

  • His pictures became less daring in conception and less economical in means;
  • Cutouts In his later years, Matisse began to experiment with cutouts.

He relaxed, as he had always done, by traveling: Barnes for the Barnes Foundation. LC-USZ62-103699 During the last years of his life, he was a rather solitary man who was separated from his wife and whose grown-up children were scattered.

After 1941, when he underwent an operation for an intestinal disorder, he was bedridden much of the time; after 1950 he suffered from asthma and heart trouble. Often he was obliged to work on his mural-sized projects from a studio bed with the aid of a crayon attached to a long pole.

But there are no signs of flagging creative energy or of sadness in his final achievements. On the contrary, these works are among the most daring, most accomplished, and most serenely optimistic of his entire career. At Vence, a Riviera hill town where Matisse had a villa from 1943 to 1948, he completed in 1951, after three years of planning and execution, his Chapelle du Rosaire for the local Dominican nuns, one of whom had nursed him during his nearly fatal illness in 1941.

He had begun by agreeing to design some stained-glass windows, had gone on to do murals, and had wound up by designing nearly everything inside and outside, including vestments and liturgical objects. He died in 1954.