(1869 – 1954)
Henri Matisse was a French artist, known for his use of color and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter. Matisse is commonly regarded, along with Picasso, as one of the two seminal artists of the 20th century, responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture. Although he was initially labelled a Fauve (wild beast), by the 1920s he was increasingly hailed as an upholder of the classical tradition in French painting. His mastery of the expressive language of colour and drawing, displayed in a body of work spanning over a half-century, won him recognition as a leading figure in modern art.
He first started to paint in 1889, when his mother had brought him art supplies during a period of convalescence following an attack of appendicitis. He discovered "a kind of paradise" as he later described it,[ and decided to become an artist, deeply disappointing his father.
Nude with a White Wash Towel
"What interests me most is neither still life nor landscape: it is the human figure."
Le bonheur de vivre (The Joy of Life)
"Seek the strongest color effect possible... the content is of no importance."
(the artist's daughter)
(the artist's first wife)
"When I put a green, it it not grass. When I put a blue, it is not the sky."
"Expression, for me, does not reside in passions glowing in a human face or manifested by violent movement. The entire arrangement of my picture is expressive; the place occupied by the figures, the empty spaces around them, the proportions, everything has its share."
"I wouldn't mind turning into a vermilion goldfish."
The White Feather
Odalesque with Red Pants
Odalesque with Gray Pants
"Creativity takes courage."
The Romanian Green Blouse
"The portrait is one of the most curious art forms. It demands special qualities in the artist, and an almost total kinship with the model."
Still-Life with Shellfish
"I have always tried to hide my efforts and wished my works to have the light joyousness of springtime, which never lets anyone suspect the labors it has cost me...."
"There are always flowers for those who want to see them."
(guouace on paper cut and pasted)
"Cutting into color reminds me of the sculptor's direct carving."
"Drawing is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence."
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