Short Life Story of Henri Matisse

Short Life Story of Henri Matisse

Who is Henri Matisse? School, Education, Childhood, Family Background

Henri Matisse was French artist whose career spanned over six decades. Apart from being a painter, he was also a draughtsman, print-maker and sculptor. Matisse was one of the major artists of the 20th century. He was a leader of the Fauvist movement.

Henri Matisse’s full name was Henri-Emile-Benoit Matisse. He was born on 31st December, 1869, in Nord, France to Emile Hippolyte Matisse and Anna Heloise Gerard. He was the eldest son of the couple.

His father was a grain merchant and a very strict figure in Henri’s life. Henri went to Paris to study law at his father’s behest in 1887. He started to paint in 1889, when his mother brought him some art supplies when he was recovering from appendicitis. He said it was “a kind of paradise”, and made him decide to be an artist, much to his father’s chagrin. 

After moving to Saint Quentin for some time, he returned to Paris in 1891 and decided to pursue a career in art. He attended an art school called Academie Julian in Paris. When he first began to paint, he took his mother’s advice and painted works based on his emotions.

Met Gustave, Interests, J.M.W Tuner, National des Beaux-Arts, and Van Gogh’s Impressionist art

He was then trained under the artist Gustave Moreau. With him, Matisse explored modern styles of painting. He learned about contemporary art. Gradually, he started to paint still-life and landscape paintings in a traditional style.

In 1896, he displayed four his paintings I the societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts. It was such a success that he was appointed as an associate member of the Salon society. In 1897, Matisse met artists John Pater Russell. He introduced Matisse to impressionism art the famous artist Van Gogh’s Impressionist art.

In the next few years, he advanced impressionism. Matisse first masterpiece was ‘The Dinner Table’, painted in 1897. After getting married in 1898, he moved to London and studied the works of J.M.W Tuner, and also worked n Corsica, where he received a lasting impression of Mediterranean sunlight and color.   

New Color Techniques

Around 1905, he discovered new style and color techniques. He used bolder, brighter colors and a broad brush stroke. He painted several works for the World Fair at the Grand Palais in Paris.

He started implementing spontaneous brush work and theoretically realistic complementary colors. Matisse and a group of artist displayed their art in a room at the Salon d’Automne. The group was called the “Fauves” meaning “Wild Beats”.

Their art style was called Fauvism. Matisse’s most famous Fauvist painting was ‘Woman with a Hat’. He used bright and violent colors to paint the woman in this piece. It gained a lot of acclaim and was sought after by major art collectors.

Greatest Painting of All Time

From 1905 to 1906, Matisse painted one of his greatest paintings, The Joy of Life’. It was one of the most important works of 20th century.

In 1911, he completes his ‘The Red Studio’. It was painted towards the end of the Fauvism movement. In this painting, Matisse played with a flatness of the depicted space, almost parallel to the canvas, and created an interesting arrangement of colors and shapes. Later in his life, Matisse’s changed his art techniques. He used patterns and soon came up with collages. Matisse’s cut-outs were huge but showed simplicity. He later produced a book called Jazz counting these cut-outs.

Went to Algeria

During 1906, he traveled to Algeria and Morocco. There, he was inspired by African culture. By 1919, Matisse had become an internationally known master.

His style at that time was characterized by the use of pure colors and their complex interplay.  The goal of Matisse’s art was the portrayal of joyful living in contrast to the stresses of our technological age.

Other artwork created by Matisse includes paintings such as ‘The Blue Nude’, ‘The Knife Thrower’, and ‘Icarus’. His painting ‘The Dance II’, painted in 1932, highlighted features like simplicity, color and paper cut-outs.

One of Matisse’s final works was ‘Blue Nude II’, a series of paintings created in 1952. The color blue dominated the painting.

Love Life and Death

Matisse married Amelie Noellie Parayre in 1898. They got divorced in 1939. He was the father of three children. He died on November 3, 1954, at the age of 84 in Nice, France after he suffered from a heart attack.

Matisse is recognized as one of the founders of Fauvism and one of the leading figures of modern art.    

Some Great Collection
  • The Dinner Table
  • Wild Beats
  • The Knife Thrower’, and ‘Icarus
  • The Joy of Life
  • Woman with a Hat