Artist of The Week: Henri Matisse
🎨 Henri Émile Benoît Matisse
🎨 December 31, 1869, Le Cateau-Cambrésis, France
🎨 French Artist
🎨 Expressionism / Post-Impressionism
🎨 Painter / Printmaker / Sculptor
✅ Matisse grew up in Bohain-en-Vermandois and went to school at the College de Saint Quentin, before moving to Paris to study law.
✅ In 1889, he returned to Saint-Quentin as a law clerk, though he found the job tedious and complained of anxiety.
✅ Later that year he contracted appendicitis and spent several months at home recovering, at the age of 20, he discovered the welcome isolation and freedom of painting.
✅ In 1891, Matisse left Paris to study art. He failed the entrance exams for the Ecole des Beaux Arts, but
✅ In 1892 , Matisse unofficially joined the studio of French symbolist painter Gustave Moreau whom told his students, "Colors must be thought, dreamed, imagined."
✅ This Symbolist attitude toward painting contributed to Matisse's expressive use of color.
✅ In 1905, Matisse met Pablo Picasso at the studio of Gertrude Stein. The two artists began a lifelong friendship and rivalry
✅ While Picasso deconstructed objects into Cubist planes, Matisse sought to construct an object's form through color.
✅ After major surgery in 1941, he was confined to a wheelchair. Paper cut-outs symbolized for Matisse the synthesis of drawing and painting.
✅ The paper cut-outs encouraged Matisse to simplify forms even further, distilling the object's "essential character" until it became a symbol of itself.
✅ With the help of assistants, Matisse was able to continue working through his illness.
✅ On November 3, 1954, Matisse died of a heart attack
The Dessert: Harmony in Red (1908) / Goldfish (1911) / The Sorrow of The King (1952)