Henry Matisse Happy Birthday to a great painter

Henry Matisse was aFrench artist, known for his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. 

He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter. Matisse is commonly regarded, along with Picasso and Marcel Duchamp, as one of the three artists who helped to define the revolutionary developments in the plastic arts in the opening decades of 20th century, responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture. 

Although he was initially labelled a Fauve (wild beast), by the 1920s he was increasingly hailed as an upholder of the classical tradition in French painting. His mastery of the expressive language of colour and drawing, displayed in a body of work spanning over a half-century, won him recognition as a leading figure in Modern Art

Henri-Émile-Benoît Matisse was born in Le Cateau-CambrésisNordFrance, he grew up in Bohain-en-VermandoisPicardyFrance, where his parents owned a flower business. He was their first son. In 1887 he went to Paris to study law, working as a court administrator in Le Cateau-Cambrésis after gaining his qualification.

 He first started to paint in 1889, when his mother had brought him art supplies during a period of convalescence following an attack of appendicitis.

 He discovered "a kind of paradise" as he later described it and decided to become an artist, deeply disappointing his father In 1891, he returned to Paris to study art at the Académie Julian and became a student of William-Adolphe Bouguereau and Gustave Moreau.

 Initially he painted still-lifes and landscapes in the traditional Flemish style, at which he achieved reasonable proficiency. Chardin was one of Matisse's most admired painters; as an art student he made copies of four Chardin paintings in theLouvre.

 In 1896 he exhibited 5 paintings in the salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, and the state bought two of his paintings.in 1897 and 1898, he visited the painter John Peter Russell on the island Belle Île off the coast of Brittany

Russell introduced him to Impressionism and to the work of van Gogh (who had been a good friend of Russell but was completely unknown at the time). 

Matisse's style changed completely, and he would later say "Russell was my teacher, and Russell explained colour theory to me." With the model Caroline Joblau, he had a daughter, Marguerite, born in 1894.

 In 1898 he married Amélie Noellie Parayre; the two raised Marguerite together and had two sons, Jean (born 1899) and Pierre (born 1900). Marguerite and Amélie often served as 
models for Matisse

Siméon Chardin was one of Henri Matisse's most admired painters; as an art student Matisse made copies of four Chardin paintings in the Louvre

Matisse was influenced by the works of Nicolas PoussinAntoine WatteauJean-Baptiste-Siméon ChardinÉdouard Manet, and the post-Impressionists CézanneGauguinvan Gogh, and Signac, and also by Auguste Rodin, and Japanese art

Matisse immersed himself in the work of others and got in debt from buying work from many of the painters he admired. 

The work he hung and displayed in his home included a plaster bust by Rodin, a painting by Gauguin, a drawing by van Gogh, and most importantly, Cézanne's Three Bathers.

 In Cézanne's sense of pictorial structure and colour Matisse found his main inspiration. Many of his paintings from 1899 to 1905 make use of a pointillist technique adopted from Signac.

 In 1898, he went to London to study the paintings of J. M. W. Turner and then went on a trip to Corsica.[14] Upon his return to Paris he worked beside lesser known painters such as Jules Flandrin


His first solo exhibition was at Ambroise Vollard's gallery in 1904 without much success.

 His fondness for bright and expressive colour became more pronounced after he moved southwards in 1905 to work withAndré Derain and spent time on the French Riviera.

 The paintings of this period are characterized by flat shapes and controlled lines, with expression dominant over detail.

In 1905, Matisse and a group of artists now known as "Fauves" exhibited together in a room at the Salon d'Automne

The paintings expressed emotion with wild, often dissonant colours, without regard for the subject's natural colours.

 Matisse showed Open Window and Woman with the Hat at the Salon. 

Critic Louis Vauxcelles described the work with the phrase "Donatello au milieu des fauves!" (Donatello among the wild beasts), referring to a Renaissance-type sculpture that shared the room with them His comment was printed on 17 October 1905 in Gil Blas, a daily newspaper, and passed into popular usage. 

The pictures gained considerable condemnation, such as "A pot of paint has been flung in the face of the public" from the critic Camille Mauclair, but also some favourable attention the painting that was singled out for attacks was Matisse's Woman with a Hat, which was bought by Gertrude and Leo Stein: this had a very positive effect on Matisse, who was suffering demoralization from the bad reception of his work]

Enhanced by Zemanta