The co-founder of Fauvism is regarded as one of the most important painters of the 20th century.
Henri Matisse was born on the New Year's Eve in 1869 in Le Cateau-Cambrésis. He recognized his artistic talent late. After studying law, Matisse found a position in a law company. Only through an appendectomy, which forced him to stay in bed, he started painting, as his mother gave him a paint box to pass the time. So he turned away from the law, and began to study in Gustave Moreau's free painting class.
Initially, he oriented to the impressionism and was fond of Cézanne. Via the pointillism he got acquainted with Paul Signac, and finally arrived at a more flat brushstroke and strong colors. The momentous scandal exhibition of 1905 in the Salon d'Automne in Paris, that denied Matisse together with Derain, Vlaminck and others, brought these "wild animals" the name "Fauves".
As a result, Matisse increasingly relinquished space illusion and focused especially on the primary colors and the black. Ornamental patterns reflect his experience with Islamic art, which he collected on his 1911/12 Morocco trip.
Movement and music are the topics that fascinated him again and again. For example, the painting "The Dance" of 1909/10 and the mural of the same name from 1930-33 are among his most important works.
In the thirties Matisse found his "papiers découpés", a sort of paper cut, which prepared his later work as a stage and costume designer Even before his death on November 3, 1954, he was able to finish his late work, the design of the chapel Notre Dame du Rosaire in Vence p>
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