Henri Matisse


Henri Matisse was born in December of 1869 in Le Chateau, France. He began painting in 1891and moved to Paris to study art. Matisse became an accomplished painter, sculptor and graphic designer, and one of the most influential artists of the 1900s.


Matisse was known as a Fauvist, an artist whose style emphasized intense color and vigorous brushstrokes. As “King of the Fauves”, Matisse was the epitome of ideal Fauvism. He believed the arrangement of colors was as important as a painting\'s subject matter to communicate meaning. He avoided detail and used bright color and strong lines to create a sense of movement. In 1905, works by Matisse and other Fauve painters were exhibited together. The bold forms and bright colors of these paintings shocked the Paris art world. He used colors and methods that were not typically used at that time. Fauvists developed their style from post-impressionism, and later influenced the Expressionists.


Matisse\'s work reflects a number of influences: the decorative quality of Near Eastern art, the stylized forms of the masks and sculpture of African, the bright colors of the French impressionists, and the simplified forms of French artist Paul Cezanne and the cubists. Matisse was very influenced by Cezanne especially.


After surgery in 1941, he remained bedridden for most of the remainder of his life, but Matisse felt philosophically reborn. He changed his method of work: instead of painting, he covered sheets of paper with brilliantly hued gouache. Next, he cut out shapes with scissors, and pasted the shapes on flat paper supports. He called the results decoupages or cut-outs. These cut-outs had the wholeness of gesture that most abstract painting could not reach. At an age when most artists are repeating themselves, Matisse re-entered and redefined the avant-garde.


In 1947 Matisse immersed himself in the decoration of a small chapel in the village of Vence in southern France. The cornerstone of the Chapel of the Rosary was laid in 1949 and consecrated in 1952. White tiled walls with black line drawings face blue, yellow, and green stained glass of climbing leaves depicting the Tree of Life. When the sun is shining, the tiles reflect the changing colors of light through the stained glass. There are no frescoes in the chapel. To draw the figures of the Virgin and Child, Saint Dominic, and the Stations of the Cross, he used a pole with charcoal attached. Everything in the chapel was designed by Matisse: the altar, the crucifix, the vestments, and the stained glass.


the story of Matisse\'s family life (Mme. Matisse risked her respectable reputation by adopting Henri\'s first, illegitimate daughter), his brilliant ideas about art, and the years it took for his paintings to find their rightful audience. It was her intention finally to give as much weight to Matisse\'s life as has been given to his work, but in the process of examining the man she sheds new light on the art as well. Henri Matisse is one of the masters of twentieth-century art and a household word to millions of people who find joy and meaning in his light-filled, colorful images--yet, despite all the books devoted to his work, the man himself has remained a mystery.


Matisse\'s experiments with sculpture and the beginnings of acceptance by dealers and collectors by 1908 gave him a more secure career.

Matisse was the greatest of the Fauvist painters; the chief rival of Picasso and the grand old man of French painting.
Matisse struggle from poverty to stability. He was supported by a loving wife, good friends and a genius which
burst forth in all its glory as the great master continue to grow in his art.




Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso have long been seen as the twin giants of modern art, as polar opposites but also as complementary figures. Between them they are the originators of many of the most significant innovations of 20th-century painting and sculpture, but their relationship has rarely been explored in all of its closeness and complexity. In spite of their initial rivalry, the two masters eventually acknowledged one another as equals, becoming, in their old age, increasingly important to one another both artistically and personally. From the time of their initial encounters in 1906 in Gertrude and Leo Stein\'s Paris studio until 1917, they individually produced some