- Ezra Gilbert
The artist Henri Matisse was active in all media for six decades, from painting to sculpture to printmaking. Although his motifs were traditional nudes, landscapes, portraits, and interior views, his revolutionary use of brilliant colors and exaggerated shapes to express emotions made him one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.
Early life and education
Henri Matisse was born on December 31, 1869 and grew up in the small industrial town of Bohain-en-Vermandois in northern France. His family worked in the grain business. As a young man, Matisse worked as a legal trainee and studied law in Paris from 1887 to 1889. After returning to a law firm in Saint-Quentin, he started drawing classes in the morning before going to work. When he was 21, Matisse started painting while recovering from an illness and his calling as an artist was confirmed.
In 1891 Matisse moved to Paris to study art. He received lessons from famous older artists in well-known schools such as the Académie Julian and the École des Beaux-Arts. These schools taught after the & # x201C; academic method & # x201D; However, Matisse was also exposed to the recent post-impressionist work by Paul Cézanne and Vincent van Gogh when he lived in Paris.
Matisse began showing his work in large group exhibitions in Paris in the mid-1890s, including the traditional Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, and his work received some positive attention. He traveled to London and Corsica and married Amélie Parayre in 1898, with whom he would have three children.
By the turn of the 20th century, Matisse had come under the more progressive influence of Georges Seurat and Paul Signac, who in one & x201C; pointillist & x201D; Style with small splashes of color instead of full brushstrokes. He stopped exhibiting in the official salon and in 1901 began to present his art to the more advanced Salon des Indépendants. In 1904 he had his first solo exhibition in the gallery of the dealer Ambroise Vollard.
Matisse had a major creative breakthrough in 1904 and 1905. A visit to Saint-Tropez in the south of France inspired him to paint bright, slightly speckled canvases like Luxury, rest and relaxation (1904-05), and a summer in the Mediterranean village of Collioure produced his main works open a window and Woman with hat In 1905 he exhibited both paintings in the Salon d ‘Automne in Paris. Looking back on the show, a contemporary art critic mentioned the bold, distorted images of some artists he nicknamed & # x201C;Fauves,& # x201D; or & # x201C; wildlife & # x201D;
Matisse painted in the style of Fauvism and continued to emphasize the emotional power of curved lines, strong brushwork and acid-bright colors in works such as The joys of life, a large composition of female nudes in a landscape. Like much of Matisse’s mature works, this scene captured a mood instead of just trying to realistically portray the world.
In the first decade of the century, Matisse also made sculptures and drawings that were sometimes related to his paintings. He repeatedly repeated and simplified his forms to the essentials.
Success and fame
After Matisse found his own style, he was more successful. For inspiration he could travel to Italy, Germany, Spain and North Africa. He bought a large studio in a suburb of Paris and signed a contract with the renowned art dealers of the Bernheim-Jeune gallery in Paris. His art has been used by prominent collectors such as Gertrude Stein in Paris and the bought Russian businessman Sergei I. Shchukin, who commissioned Matisse’s important pair of paintings I dance and music.
In his works from the 1910s and 1920s years Matisse continued to delight and surprise its viewers with its characteristic elements in rich colors, a flattened image space, limited details and strong contours. Some work like piano lesson (1916) examined the structures and geometry of Cubism, which was launched by Matisse’s lifelong rival Pablo Picasso. Despite his radical approach to color and shape, Matisse’s motifs were often traditional: scenes from his own studio (including The red studio from 1911), portraits of friends and family, arrangements of figures in rooms or landscapes.
In 1917 Matisse spent the winter in the Mediterranean and in 1921 moved to Nice on the French Riviera. From 1918 to 1930, he most often painted female nudes in carefully staged environments in his studio, using warm light and patterned backgrounds. During these years he also worked extensively in print graphics.
The first scientific book on Matisse was published in 1920 and described its importance for the history of modern art, as it is still going on.
Later years and death
In his later career, Matisse received several significant orders, including a mural for the art gallery of the collector Dr. Titled Albert Barnes from Pennsylvania Dance II, in 1931-33. He also drew book illustrations for one Series of limited edition poems.
After the operation in 1941, Matisse was often bedridden; However, he continued to work from a bed in his studio. If necessary, he drew with a pencil or charcoal at the end of a long pole that allowed him to reach the paper or canvas. His late work was as experimental and lively as his earlier artistic breakthroughs. It contained his 1947 book jazz, who put his own thoughts on life and art alongside vivid images of colored paper clippings. This project led him to design cut-out works himself, especially several series of expressively shaped human figures, which were cut from light-blue paper and glued to wall-sized background sheets (e.g.. swimming pool, 1952).
In one of his last projects, Matisse created a complete decoration program for the Chapel of the Rosary in Vence (1948-51), a city near Nice, which designed stained glass windows, murals, furnishings and even sacred clothing for the church. x2019; s priest.
Matisse died on November 3, 1954 at the age of 84 in Nice. He was buried in nearby Cimiez. He is still considered one of the most innovative and influential artists of the 20th century.
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