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Artist Profile: Henri Matisse

Henri Émile Benoît Matisse, was born in France on 31st December 1869. He was a visual artist known for his fluidity of colour and draughtsmanship.

In this article, we are going to be giving you an insight into his life and art to help you get a better understanding of this truly iconic artist.

Let’s begin with a little bit of background of his early work. His love for art began in 1889 after his mother bought him art supplies after he fell ill with appendicitis.

In 1891, he travelled to Paris to study art at the Académie Julian. He kept to his traditional art style by creating landscapes and still-life portraits. This gained him reasonable proficiency. He was influenced by several different artists one being Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin. Chardin was one of the painters that Henri Matisse admired the most and felt inspired by.

In 1896, Matisse was introduced to John Russell who became a huge inspiration in Henri’s work. You can see this through his shift in colour palettes.

During the autumn of 1917, Henri travelled to Nice, Southern France, and this is where he chose to settle for the rest of his life. The years 1917–30 are known as his “early Nice period”, this is referred to the era when his principal subject was mainly a female figure, or a person dressed in an oriental costume. These paintings were created with light and bright colours, and an abundance of unique patterns.

In 1929, he temporarily stopped painting easel pieces. He then travelled to the States and spent his time in Tahiti, New York, Baltimore, Maryland, and Merion, Pennsylvania.

On 3rd November 1954, Matisse passed away in Nice, France. After his passing his work has become globally loved and appreciated. You can visit his paintings in galleries across the world.

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