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    [ h e n r i m a t i s s e b i o g .]

    matissematisse matisse matisse
    Henri Matisse




    Biography:

    Henri Matisse was the leader of young rebel artists who brought the modern art movement into being in Paris ain the early 1900s. He was a master of color, a supreme draftsman who imbued a relatively small range of subject matter with constant variety.

    The artist's long career, begun with years of academic schooling, became set in its brilliant revolutionary course in 1905, when, in company with Rouault, Derain, Dufy, Vlaminck and a few others, Matisse set Paris on its ears in the Autumn Salon. The painters were excoriated as fauves-- wild beasts--and their pictures, flaming defiant canvases, were condemned as impossible.

    On June 25, 1951, thousands of tourists and natives crowded the small village of Vence in south France to see the Bishop bless what Matisse had called his "masterpiece"--a chapel on which he had started work four years before.

    Ailing and bedridden through much of this period, Matisse serenely progressed with his decorations for the chapel, drawing his designs with a long charcoal-tipped stick on the walls of his bedroom, later copying them on tiles and transferring them to stained glass. This was his last work, he announced: "My bags are packed."

    Matisse held no common ground with those who considered modern art as a new mode. He once said that every art is a logical reflection of the time in which it is produced--an orderly and rational development of what had gone before.

    Ruled Out Reproduction

    Representation to him was a means to an end and not the end itself. On a visit to the United States in 1930, he answered the challengers of new art forms by saying, "By mechanical means an image is now fixed on a photographic plate in a few seconds--an image more precise and exact than it is humanly possible to draw. And so, with the advent of photography disappeared the necessity for exact reproduction in art. Cezanne no longer painted one individual apple; he painted all apples. Van Gogh's 'Postman' is a portion of humanity."

    The artist was born on Dec. 31, 1869, the son of a grain merchant in Le Cateau in Picardy. The law had been chosen as his profession, and it took some persuasion over parental objections for Matisse to begin the art studies he yearned for. In Paris he studied under Gustave Moreau, and from 1893 to 1896 he produced sober still lifes and other quiet pictures influenced by Chardin and Corot. He copied old masters in the Louvre, earning his way through his schooling. In later years, telling about it, he said, "One must learn to walk firmly on the ground before one tries the tightrope."

    In 1893 he married Amelie Moellie Parayre. The family was supported through the sale of all the painter's still lifes to a dealer who paid 400 francs apiece for them.

    Matisse narrated later: "One day I had just finished one of my pictures. It was quite as good as the previous one and very much like it, and I knew that on its delivery I would get the money which I sorely needed. I looked at it, and then and there a feeling came over me that it was not I, that it did not express me or express what I felt." The artist destroyed the picture, counting his emancipation from that day.

    Opinions on the art of Matisse from the beginning of his emancipation through the tide of impressionism, post-impressionism and fauvism, varied considerably during the 1912 exhibition in London of modern French painters' work.

    Matisse emerged as an artist of great powers, but sections of the academic world called his work "not art, but a dangerous and infectious disease." In 1908, excited comment had followed an exhibition of Matisse's paintings in the Stieglitz Gallery of New York; in 1913, at the famed Armory Show, the artist was the center of stormy debate.

    Through the years that have seen his pictures become prized pieces in public and private collections in all parts of the world, the artist grew in stature. He never left his explorations, and age only increased his daring as a colorist and his brilliance and gaiety. A few have complained that his work of recent years "complacently repeated," but numbers of authoritative writers on Matisse and leading connoisseurs regard him as the foremost painter of the day.

    Matisse established himself permanently in Nice in 1917. When World War II started, the artist was in Paris. He made his way in stages by taxi and train back to Nice.

    In 1941, his son Pierre, reported that Matisse had undergone a serious operation. Friends tried to persuade the aging artist to leave France, but Matisse said, "If all the talented people left France, the country would be much poorer. I began an artist's life very poor, and I am not afraid to be poor again. . . . Art has its value; it is a search after truth and truth is all that counts."

    The artist's birthdays during his last years usually found him working on a limited schedule, with congratulatory messages coming in from all over the world. At 83 he donated 100 of his works-- valued at up to $14,000,000--to his hometown of Le Cateau.

    And at about the same time, in a piece he wrote for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Matisse told a little more of his theory of art.

    "An artist has to look at life without prejudices, as he did when he was a child," he wrote. "If he loses that faculty, he cannot express himself in an original, that is, in a personal way."

    By way of illustration he said there was nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose.

    "Because before he can do so," explained the artist, "he has first of all to forget all the roses that were ever painted."

    He died in his apartment in Nice on the afternoon of November 3rd 1954 of a heart attack. He was 84 years old.

    Death came swiftly to the aged artist, who had been a semi-invalid since undergoing a serious operation in 1940. At his bedside were his daughter, Mme. Marguerite Duthite; his physician, a nurse and his secretary. Mme. Duthite had arrived in Nice from Paris a few days ago to visit her father.

    Jean Cassou, director of the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, recalled that Matisse, bedridden much of the time after his operation, continued to work from his room.

    Obituaries at the time included thus:

    "Henri Matisse is one of the last representatives of French genius," he said. "If the title of master suits any artist it certainly suited him. All men deserving of this name, all men who think, can consider themselves as his disciples. His thinking has illuminated our era."

    Andre Berthoin, Minister of National Education, in a statement on the death of the artist, said that the "world will mourn" with France.

    "His was the most French of palettes. Intelligence, reason and the alliance of a sense of finesse and of simplifying geometry gave to all he painted the rare virtue of being truly French," M. Berthoin said.

    Trivia:

    The artist lived in the South of France from 1939 to his death in 1954.

    Biography ii:

    Henri Matisse was the century's most loved and well - traveled painter.  Art was his obsession and to create paintings of such visual excitement he chose a life of discipline and calmness.

    His name was Henri Matisse and he was one of the most famous artist that ever lived.

    Born in 1869 near France's Belgian border, Henri hated the northern winters. He traveled south where there was more light in the day.

    Henri Matisse began as a lawyer because his father sent him to law school. When he was in school he showed little interest in art. Thus his father sent him to law school.

    Matisse started to work at a law office when he became very ill. His mother brought him a small paint box to help him pass the time. Henri then gave up law and left for Paris to study art.

    Paris was the most exciting place in the world for artists in the late 19th century. In 1891, he was enrolled in the Academic Julian art school and stayed there until 1917.

    Henri was part of an artist group called the Fauves. He started the first important movement in the 1900's. Henri was the most famous of the Fauves and took the leadership in the movement

    Who were the Fauves?

    The Fauves ("Wild Beasts") were young creative revolutionaries in the art world and counted among their number Henri Matisse and such lesser known figures as Andre Derain and Maurice Vlaminck, all of whom admired van Gogh and Gauguin. With their vehement emotional transformation of form and riotous use of color, the Fauves' paintings shocked turn-of-the-century Parisian audiences. At the Salon d'Automne of 1905, critics called the works "a pot of color flung in the face of the public

    Fauves further reading:

  • Fauves and Fauvism
  • The Fauves: The Reign of Colour

    Henri Matisse lived through some of the most traumatic political events in recorded history. He lived through the worst wars, the greatest slaughters, and the most demented rivalries of ideology. Matisse never made a didactics painting or signed a manifesto, and there is scarcely one reference to a political event. Matisse did suffer from fear and loathing like everyone else, but his art work did not show it at all.

    Henri painted from around the turn of the century untill 1914 in his studio. He painted day and night with the bright colors of the Impressionists.

    Matisse thought paintings should have structure, which was shapes and spaces between them. He produced images of comfort, refuge, and balanced satisfaction.

    Matisse's work doesn't let anyone feel a trace of the alienation and conflict which modernism, the mirror of our century, has so often reflected.

    Henri Matisse's wife, Amelie, and he were invited to spend a summer in St.Tropez with painter Paul Signac. St. Tropez is where Henri painted his wife sewing in the shade of Signac's boathouse.

    Henri traveled to different places around the world searching for new kinds of space and light.

    Matisse's art work was exhibited all around the world. His art work caught the attention of all kinds of people.

    Henri Matisse's style was unique. His favorite subjects were human figures, still life, and scenes of interiors. Not only did he paint but also made paper cutouts. He would cut out shapes of different shapes and put all of them together to make a wonderful looking art piece.

    He would place them on the paper by their shape.

    Matisse also made sculptures in the early years of the 1900's. His sculptures revealed an interest in African sculpture and in Rodin's treatment of forms.

    Henri's superbly simple line drawings rank among the greatest works of art of the 20th century. When it comes to certain pieces it's easier to auto refinance then to get the art for yourself....and some are so valuable one may very well find auto loan refinance options cheaper then the treasured artwork.

    Matisse loved pattern within pattern: not only the suave and decorative forms of his own compositions, but also the reproduction of tapestries, embroideries, silks, striped awnings, curlicues, mottles, dots, and spots. For sure, he wants to bring you into the paintings: to make you fall into it, like walking through the looking-glass. Indeed, Matisse once said that he wanted his art to have the effect of a good armchair on a tired businessman....and to this day it has that same effect, it makes a perfect armchair for even the most tired auto refinance businessmen.

    Henri Matisse worked with large levels of primary colors, which created an impression of light and space. Matisse was the master of simplifying colors and lines more than reflecting the object. Since Matisse was part of the Fauves, his colors were pure colors. They could achieve greater effect by using pure colors and the effect of the light in the painting was more beautiful.

    Henri Matisse was 72 when he had a major operation that nearly ended his life. He never fully recovered and he was not able to paint. He had to lay in bed for most of the time for the rest of his life.

    During his last years, he created cutouts in his bed.

    Henri Matisse died on November 3, 1954.







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    Femme Assise A Sa Coiffeuse
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    Reflection In Mirror
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  • The Man in Pictures:

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    Videos:

      matisse

    • rosamond bernier: the modern masters - the matisse i knew/the matisse nobody knew
      rosamond bernier
      video (1995)
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      henri matisse
      video (2002)
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    • matisse - centennial at the grand palais
      museum of modern art
      video (1998)
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    Books:

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    • calendrier 2004 : henri matisse
      de collectif
      calendar (2003)
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    • agenda 2004 : henri matisse
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      relié - 100 pages (2003)
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      matisse

    • dance me to the end of love
      leonard cohen / henri matisse (illustrator)
      hardcover book (2000)
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    • henri matisse (taschen portfolio s.)
      taschen
      hardcover book (2003)
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      xavier girard
      paperback book (1994)
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      henri matisse
      paperback book (2002)
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      matisse

    • the little book of matisse
      laurence milet
      paperback book (2002)
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    • matisse cut-outs (albums s.)
      gilles neret
      hardcover book (1999)
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      matisse

    • matisse picasso
      matisse / picasso
      (2002)
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      matisse

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      jack flam
      hardcover book (2003)
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    • henri matisse: jazz
      henri matisse
      hardcover book (2001)
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      matisse

    • the fauves: the reign of colour
      ferrier
      paperback book (1995)
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      matisse

    • the unknown matisse: a life of henri matisse, volume 1: the early years, 1869-1908
      hilary spurling
      paperback book (2001)
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      matisse

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      abrams
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      hardcover book (2002)
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    • a bird or 2: a story about henri matisse
      le tord
      hardcover book (1999)
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      matisse

    • matisse/picasso 2004 wall calendar
      museum of modern art
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      john russell
      hardcover book (1999)
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      paperback book (1996)
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      john klein
      hardcover book (2001)
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    • matisse in morocco: the paintings and drawings, 1912-1913
      jack cowart
      paperback book (2000)
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    • matisse: cut-out fun with matisse
      henri matisse
      hardcover book (2003)
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