Henri Matisse

84 years old - December 31, 1869 - November 3, 1954

Background History

Henri-Émile-Benoît Matisse was born in Le Cateau, France and began his career at an early age. As a young adult, Matisse studied law and took a job at a law firm, but soon realized he wanted to pursue art as a career. Matisse was influenced by Seurat and Signac who were seen as using a more progressive form of art which Matisse really enjoyed. He helped pioneer the Fauvism movement which used bright chroma and intense shapes and designs to invoke emotion in the viewer. After having a surgery, he was confined to a wheelchair, and discovered a whole new medium in cut paper. Though he wasn't able to paint anymore, Matisse now was able to create art in a way no one had ever seen and cut paper would soon be the medium best associated with Matisse. Matisse died at the age of 84 in 1954 in the city of Nice.

Art Movements

Matisse is definitely best known for being a part of Fauvism, using bright colors and chroma. There are also hints of Impressionism in his works because of how the viewer felt while looking at his intense paintings. Green Stripe is considered the peak of Fauvism because of it's use of bright colors in a normal, everyday situation. Matisse's work also is classified as Expressionism because he used his intense emotions and interpreted them on the canvas. The element of art that was Matisse's best friend was definitely was color and how he used it to bring out the thought and emotion in all of his admirers. Fauvism would be nonexistent without the vision of Matisse.
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The Sorrows of the King

Favorite Work

My favorite work by Matisse is definitely the Sorrows of the King. I love the diversity he was able to put onto the panel, but still using cut paper. The large expanse of color also astonishes me because of how they compliment each other because of their position on the panel. You also see a sense of movement in this piece because of how the paper was cut. The organic shapes create the sense of life on the panel and specifically the life forms moving with each other in this space. There is a great balance of of the different colors. You can tell the emphasis is focused on the black and white figure and the green figures because of how they are represented in the piece.