52 Facts About Henri Matisse


Henri Emile Benoit Matisse was a French visual artist, known for both his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship.


Henri Matisse was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter.


Henri Matisse was born in Le Cateau-Cambresis, in the Nord department in Northern France on New Year's Eve in 1869, the oldest son of a wealthy grain merchant.


Henri Matisse first started to paint in 1889, after his mother brought him art supplies during a period of convalescence following an attack of appendicitis.


Henri Matisse discovered "a kind of paradise" as he later described it, and decided to become an artist, deeply disappointing his father.


Henri Matisse was influenced by the works of earlier masters such as Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin, Nicolas Poussin, and Antoine Watteau, as well as by modern artists, such as Edouard Manet, and by Japanese art.


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

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Henri Matisse's style changed completely; abandoning his earth-coloured palette for bright colours.


Henri Matisse later said Russell was his teacher, and that Russell had explained colour theory to him.


Henri Matisse immersed himself in the work of others and went into debt from buying work from painters he admired.


In Cezanne's sense of pictorial structure and colour, Henri Matisse found his main inspiration.


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


Henri Matisse's comment was printed on 17 October 1905 in Gil Blas, a daily newspaper, and passed into popular usage.


Henri Matisse was recognised as a leader of the Fauves, along with Andre Derain; the two were friendly rivals, each with his own followers.


Henri Matisse's painting Nu bleu was burned in effigy at the Armory Show in Chicago in 1913.


The decline of the Fauvist movement after 1906 did not affect the career of Henri Matisse; many of his finest works were created between 1906 and 1917, when he was an active part of the great gathering of artistic talent in Montparnasse, even though he did not quite fit in, with his conservative appearance and strict bourgeois work habits.


Henri Matisse travelled to Algeria in 1906 studying African art and Primitivism.


Henri Matisse visited Morocco in 1912 and again in 1913 and while painting in Tangier he made several changes to his work, including his use of black as a colour.


The effect on Henri Matisse's art was a new boldness in the use of intense, unmodulated colour, as in L'Atelier Rouge.


Henri Matisse had a long association with the Russian art collector Sergei Shchukin.


Henri Matisse created one of his major works La Danse specially for Shchukin as part of a two painting commission, the other painting being Music.


Henri Matisse, 1907, Awakening, plaster, exhibition Salon of the Golden Fleece 1908.


Around April 1906, Henri Matisse met Pablo Picasso, who was 11 years his junior.


One key difference between them is that Henri Matisse drew and painted from nature, while Picasso was more inclined to work from imagination.


Henri Matisse's friends organized and financed the Academie Matisse in Paris, a private and non-commercial school in which Matisse instructed young artists.

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Henri Matisse spent seven months in Morocco from 1912 to 1913, producing about 24 paintings and numerous drawings.


Goldfish in aquariums became a frequently recurring theme in Henri Matisse's art following his trip to Morocco.


In 1917, Henri Matisse relocated to Cimiez on the French Riviera, a suburb of the city of Nice.


Henri Matisse worked with not only Frenchmen, Dutch, Germans, and Spaniards, but a few Americans and recent American immigrants.


American art collector Albert C Barnes convinced Matisse to produce a large mural for the Barnes Foundation, The Dance II, which was completed in 1932; the Foundation owns several dozen other Matisse paintings.


Henri Matisse worked on this painting for several months and documented the progress with a series of 22 photographs, which he sent to Etta Cone.


Delectorskaya attempted suicide by shooting herself in the chest; remarkably, she survived with no serious after-effects, and returned to Henri Matisse and worked with him for the rest of his life, running his household, paying the bills, typing his correspondence, keeping meticulous records, assisting in the studio, and coordinating his business affairs.


Henri Matisse was visiting Paris when the Nazis invaded France in June 1940, but managed to make his way back to Nice.


Henri Matisse was about to depart for Brazil to escape the occupation of France but changed his mind and remained in Nice, in Vichy France.


Henri Matisse worked as a graphic artist and produced black-and-white illustrations for several books and over one hundred original lithographs at the Mourlot Studios in Paris.


Henri Matisse discovered that she was an amateur artist and taught her about perspective.


Bourgeois became a Dominican nun in 1946, and Henri Matisse painted a chapel in Vence, a small town he moved to in 1943, in her honor.


Henri Matisse remained for the most part isolated in southern France throughout the war but his family was intimately involved with the French resistance.


Henri Matisse's estranged wife, Amelie, was a typist for the French Underground and jailed for six months.


Henri Matisse would cut sheets of paper, pre-painted with gouache by his assistants, into shapes of varying colours and sizes, and arrange them to form lively compositions.


When talking about his work, Henri Matisse mentioned that, while his mobility was limited, he could wander through gardens in the form of his artwork.


However, it was only after his operation that, bedridden, Henri Matisse began to develop the cut-out technique as its own form, rather than its prior utilitarian origin.


Henri Matisse moved to the hilltop of Vence, France in 1943, where he produced his first major cut-out project for his artist's book titled Jazz.


At this point, Henri Matisse still thought of the cut-outs as separate from his principal art form.


In 1948, Henri Matisse began to prepare designs for the Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence, which allowed him to expand this technique within a truly decorative context.

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Henri Matisse died of a heart attack at the age of 84 on 3 November 1954.


Henri Matisse is buried in the cemetery of the Monastere Notre Dame de Cimiez, in the Cimiez neighbourhood of Nice.


The first painting of Henri Matisse acquired by a public collection was Still Life with Geraniums, exhibited in the Pinakothek der Moderne.


Henri Matisse died in 1982 while compiling a catalogue of her father's work.


Henri Matisse exhibited Joan Miro, Marc Chagall, Alberto Giacometti, Jean Dubuffet, Andre Derain, Yves Tanguy, Le Corbusier, Paul Delvaux, Wifredo Lam, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Balthus, Leonora Carrington, Zao Wou Ki, Sam Francis, and Simon Hantai, sculptors Theodore Roszak, Raymond Mason, and Reg Butler, and several other important artists, including the work of Henri Matisse.


Henri Matisse's grandson Paul Matisse is an artist and inventor living in Massachusetts.


The US copyright representative for Les Heritiers Henri Matisse is the Artists Rights Society.