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Seznam děl umělce Matisse Henri

(*31.12.1869 – †3.11.1954); francouzský malíř, grafik a sochař, hlavní představitel fauvismu. Vytvářel obrazy založené na jasných nelomených barevných skvrnách, jejichž rytmem a kontrastem budoval tvar a prostor(Portrét se zeleným pruhem, Pastorále). Poz

(*31.12.1869 – †3.11.1954); francouzský malíř, grafik a sochař, hlavní představitel fauvismu. Vytvářel obrazy založené na jasných nelomených barevných skvrnách, jejichž rytmem a kontrastem budoval tvar a prostor(Portrét se zeleným pruhem, Pastorále). Později usiloval též o uplatnění linie v kompozicích sledujících hlavní dekorativní účinek v rytmu kresebné arabesky a zářícího koloritu (dekorativní panó Tanec, Hudba, nástěnné malby, návrhy na gobelíny, scénografie a ilustrace).
In: http://www.cojeco.cz/index.php?detail=1&s_lang=2&id_desc=57631&title=Matisse

Matisse Henri (matys), *31. pros. 1869, fr. malíř a grafik. Po krátkém pobytu na právech, k nimž ho nutila rodina, studoval na École des Beaux-Arts (1892) a především v atelieru Gust. Moreaua, kde byl jeho spolužákem G. Rounault. Vystavoval r. 1894 v Salonu na Champs-de-Mars, 1901 po prvé v Salonu nezávislých a od r. 1903 pravidelně v Podzimním salonu. Jako většina fauvistů prošel i [Matisse Henri] impresionismem a neoimpresionismem; neoimpresionismus byl pak bezprostředním podnětem nového hnutí, které již mělo k vidění skutečnosti svobodný vztah, určený výtvarným záměrem a volným výběrem ze "slovníku přírody". Po neoimpresionismu, který pokrýval plochy tečkami hmotné barvy a skrytěji nebo zřetelněji užíval linie, stačilo vlastně jen plochy čisté barvy uvésti v souvislost a opsati jejich rozmezí čárovým obrysem. Fauvismus a v jeho čele [Matisse Henri] dokončili připravený důsledek, který potom působil tak nově a ostře, že vynesl nastupující generaci název fauvistů (fauve = divoký). Plošný způsob malby a stejně i lineární obrys připravil ovšem i Gauguin svým dekorativním exotismem. [Matisse Henri] zůstává věren původní estetice fauvismu a stal se tak jeho nejtypičtějším představitelem.
Čistá barva a lineární rozvrh obrazu plně vyhovuje jeho výtvarné povaze, určované smyslovostí a vkusem. Ani jeho dílo nezůstalo však bez vývoje. V l. 1908-13 zesílil se vlivem kubistické abstrakce význam plochy a linie tak, že se obrazy cestou arabesky dostávaly až na pokraj schematu. Válkou a poválečnými lety obnovený význam předmětu postavil [Matisse Henri] před otázku obrazového prostoru. Nesnaží se popříti plošnost, ale připouští do obrazu mělký prostor a plastikou dodává více plnosti předmětům svých pláten, jejichž námětem bývá téměř pravidelně žena, viděná v typicky francouzském interiéru. Poválečné období jeho tvorby, kde se v barevnosti a někdy i v námětech ozývá francouzský smysl pro orient, připojuje [Matisse Henri] k tradici, aniž mu něco ubírá z jeho výboje. Dnes vidíme v [Matisse Henri]-ovi, který silně zapůsobil na malířství i za hranicemi Francie, typicky francouzského umělce. Své malířské výboje převedl do grafiky (monotypie, litografie, lepty, suché jehly) a pak i do ilustrace (básně St. Mallarmého a P. Reverdyho). Sochařské pokusy [Matisse Henri]-ovy zůstaly pouhou episodou. Ve všech těchto oblastech má zájem především o povrch zobrazovaného předmětu i obrazu, který oživuje vedle barev i rukopisným obrysem. Dnes má jeho dílo definitivní profil. Srv. Fr. Kovárna, Souč. malířství 1932, Edouard-Joseph, Dictionnaire biographique des artistes contemporains, II., Paříž 1931, Thieme-Becker, Künstlerlexikon XXIV., 1930. -rna.
(In: Ottův slovník naučný nové doby)

POSEL MODERNISMU
Henri Matisse. Malíř velkého temperamentu a divokých barev. Dokázal spojit emoce s rozumem. Opustil tradice a stal se zakladatelem nového přístupu k malířství.
"Sním o umění rovnováhy a klidu, které by přinášelo uklidnění jako pohovka, na níž si odpočineme po tělesném vyčerpání." Tato slova Matisse napsal v roce 1908. Svým dílem se vědomě vyhýbal zneklidňujícím otázkám. Život viděl a zobrazoval v zářivých barvách, které měly tomuto poslání umění napomáhat.
POZDNÍ ZAČÁTEK
Zatímco někteří malíři, třeba Picasso, začali s malováním už v raném dětství, Matisse se k umění dostal poměrně pozdě. Narodil se v roce 1869 v malém severofrancouzském městě Le Cateau-Cambrésis. Dětství prožil v BohainenVermondois v Pikardii. V roce 1886 odjel do Paříže studovat práva. V tu dobu ještě neměl o umění zájem. Za celou dobu studia nevzal do ruky štětec a nenavštívil jediné pařížské muzeum.
Vše se změnilo v době, kdy se Matisse zotavoval v nemocnici z operace slepého střeva. Ve vedlejším pokoji si všiml pacienta, který ručně obkresloval barevné tisky. Nechal si od matky koupit krabici s barvami a zkusil svého souseda napodobit. Pak už s malováním nepřestal.
LÉTA UČENÍ
Prvním Matissovým dílem byla krajina s řekou a mlýnem. Nová záliba ho zaujala tak, že se přihlásil do kurzu kreslení při škole Quentin-Latour a docházel tam ráno před zahájením právnické praxe. Začal prohlížet severofrancouzská muzea.
Po čase se rozhodl zanechat právnického povolání a proti vůli otce odjel do Paříže, kde se zapsal do kurzu na Uměleckoprůmyslovou školu (École des Arts Décoratifs). Učil se u tehdy velmi módního malíře Williama Bouguereaua, ale nakonec přešel na prestižní Školu výtvarných umění (École des Beaux-Arts) ke Gustavu Moreauovi. Mnozí avantgardní umělci jím opovrhovali, ale byl považován za vynikajícího učitele, protože žákům nebránil ve svobodném rozvoji. Během tří let studia u Moreaua Matisse navštěvoval Louvre, studoval staré i novější malíře a zhotovoval si pro sebe kopie.
LÁSKA K JIHU
V roce 1898 se Matisse oženil a odjel s manželkou na Korsiku. Korsická příroda, především tamní barvy a světlo, ho inspirovaly. Jižní krajinu si zamiloval na celý život. Ovlivněn impresionismem tam začal poprvé experimentovat s barvou.
O několik měsíců později umírá Matissův učitel Moreau. Další studium na École des Beaux-Arts pro něj ztrácí smysl. Tou dobou začínají Matissovy obrazy nabírat neskutečné odstíny červené a zelené barvy, kterými se později proslaví.
Na přelomu století se Matisse stává otcem dvou synů Jeana a Pierra. Aby rodinu existenčně zajistil, pracuje na výzdobě Velkého paláce (viz 100+1 21/2005) a vystavuje svá díla, kterých si začínají všímat obchodníci s uměním. Pouští se také do studia sochařství a v roce 1905 představí své první plastiky.
DOBA FAUVISMU
Rok 1905 je pro Matisse velmi významný. Maluje obraz Okno v Collioure, na němž se střetává zeleň s rumělkovou červení. Barvy, především jejich čistota, se pro umělce názorově blízké Matissovi stanou východiskem nového uměleckého postoje, který se záměrně odklání od nadvlády impresionismu.
Během tradičního Podzimního salonu 1905 byly v jednom sále shromážděny Matissovy obrazy spolu s díly Vlamincka, Marqueta a dalších spřízněných umělců, kteří měli odpor k jakýmkoli teoriím umění. Nový malířský směr, nazvaný nejprve fauvismus (fauve - divoké zvíře, šelma), má krátké trvání. Jeho konec přichází už o tři roky později. Poprvé se v něm však objevují barvy v podobě skvrn, které nedbají na obrysy postav. "Každý má možnost malovat červené stromy a zelené obličeje, pokud na tom trvá," řekl tehdy Matisse svému příteli a uměleckému kolegovi André Derainovi.
Matissova paleta se časem omezí na několik jasných a výrazných barev. Malíř o nich později píše, že mají svou vlastní krásu, kterou je třeba zachovávat tak jako hudební timbre během skladby. Velký vliv na Matissovo vnímání tvarů měly i jeho sochařské práce. Některé skici a litografie aktů zpracovával opakovaně a dopracovával se ke stále větší míře abstrakce. Základem jeho vyjadřování přesto zůstávají arabesky, které dokáže využít i při tvorbě rozměrných nástěnných dekorací.
BAREVNÁ ČISTOTA
V roce 1916 se Matisse usazuje v Nice. Ráno po příjezdu uviděl sluneční světlo a byl jím uchvácen. Dalších deset let se tento intenzivní pocit štěstí promítal do všeho, co maloval - do interiérů, otevřených oken s výhledem do krajiny i do barvy pokožky modelek, které navštěvovaly Matissův ateliér.
Jižní krajina je pro něj důležitá. Spisovateli Louisi Aragonovi se později svěří, že nebýt života na jihu, byla by jeho díla šedivější. Zatímco mlhy na severu Francie působí, že barvy s přibývající vzdáleností ztrácejí odstín, v Nice bylo vše čisté a průzračné.
Ve třicátých letech se Matisse seznámil s Alfredem Barnesem, slavným a bohatým americkým chemikem a vynálezcem, který si chtěl vytvořit sbírku jeho pláten. U Matisse si objednal nástěnnou výzdobu pro budovu své nadace v Merionu poblíž Filadelfie. Téma bylo volné. Matisse si pronajal v Nice vysloužilé filmové studio a dal se do práce. Vybral si téma tance, které měl v oblibě, a zobrazil je pomocí čtyř barev - šedé, modré, růžové a černé. Barnes výsledkem příliš nadšen nebyl, přesto dílo přijal. Novátorství, s jakým byly plochy zaplněny, bylo oceněno až mnohem později.
SÁM SEBOU
V roce 1941 musel Matisse podstoupit operaci, po níž přestal chodit. Cesty po Spojených státech, Asii a Tichomoří se staly minulostí. Přesto dál maluje a získává stále větší respekt. V roce 1947 se stává komandérem Čestné legie. Ve světových galeriích probíhají jeho výstavy a retrospektivy. Jednu z nejnavštěvovanějších uspořádalo Museum of Modern Art v New Yorku.
Navzdory slávě zůstává Matisse věrný sám sobě. Nemá potřebu vymezit se proti vznikajícím uměleckým směrům a jejich manifestům. I když tíhne k abstrakci, je věrný tradici figurálního umění a především sám sobě. Když se jeho zdravotní stav zhorší, vezme nůžky a začne vytvářet pozoruhodné koláže a kvaše. I v nich se střetávají emoce s řádem, který diktuje rozum. Poslední léta života prožívá v Nice, kde v roce 1954 umírá.
Aktuální výstavu Matisse - Postava, barva, prostor je možné navštívit v prostorách Fondation Beyeler v Riehen bei Basel (Basilej) ve Švýcarsku do 9. července 2006.
In: http://stoplusjedna.newtonit.cz/stare/200609/so09a00e.asp

Henri Matisse was born in 1869, the year the Cutty Sark was launched. The year he died, 1954, the first hydrogen bomb exploded at Bikini Atoll. Not only did he live on, literally, from one world into another; he lived through some of the most traumatic political events in recorded history, the worst wars, the greatest slaughters, the most demented rivalries of ideology, without, it seems, turning a hair. Matisse never made a didactic painting or signed a manifesto, and there is scarcely one reference to a political event - let alone an expression of political opinion - to be found anywhere in his writings. Perhaps Matisse did suffer from fear and loathing like the rest of us, but there is no trace of them in his work. His studio was a world within the world: a place of equilibrium that, for sixty continuous years, produced images of comfort, refuge, and balanced satisfaction. Nowhere in Matisse's work does one feel a trace of the alienation and conflict which modernism, the mirror of our century, has so often reflected. His paintings are the equivalent to that ideal place, scaled away from the assaults and erosions of history, that Baudelaire imagined in his poem L'Invitation al Voyage:
Furniture gleaming with the sheen of years would grace our bedroom; the rarest flowers, mingling their odours with vague whiffs of amber, the painted ceilings, the fathomless mirrors, the splendour of the East ... all of that would speak, in secret, to our souls, in its gentle language. There, everything is order and beauty, luxury, calm and pleasure.
In its thoughtfulness, steady development, benign lucidity, and wide range of historical sources, Matisse's work utterly refutes the notion that the great discoveries of modernism were made by violently rejecting the past. His work was grounded in tradition - and in a much less restless and ironic approach to it than Picasso's. As a young man, having been a student of Odilon Redon's, he had closely studied the work of Manet and Cézanne; a small Cézanne Bathers, which he bought in 1899, became his talisman. Then around 1904 he got interested in the coloured dots of Seurat's Divisionism. Seurat was long dead by then, but Matisse became friends with his closest follower, Paul Signac. Signac's paintings of Saint-Tropez bay were an important influence on Matisse's work. So, perhaps, was the painting that Signac regarded as his masterpiece and exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants in 1895, In the Time of Harmony, a big allegorical composition setting forth his anarchist beliefs. The painting shows a Utopian Arcadia of relaxation and farming by the sea, and it may have fused with the traditional fête champétre in Matisse's mind to produce his own awkward but important demonstration piece, Luxe, Calme et Volupte, 1904-5. In it, Matisse's literary interest in Baudelaire merged with his Arcadian fantasies, perhaps under the promptings of Signac's table-talk about the future Golden Age. One sees a picnic by the sea at Saint-Tropez, with a lateen-rigged boat and a cluster of bulbous, spotty nudes. It is not, to put it mildly, a very stirring piece of luxe, but it was Matisse's first attempt to make an image of the Mediterranean as a state of mind.
In 1905 Matisse went south again, to work with André Derain in the little coastal town of Collioure. At this point, his colour broke free. Just how free it became can be seen in The Open Window, Collioure, 1905. It is the first of the views through a window that would recur as a favourite Matissean motif. All the colour has undergone an equal distortion and keying up. The terracotta of flowerpots and the rusty red of masts and furled sails become a blazing Indian red: the reflections of the boats, turning at anchor through the razzle of light on the water, are pink; the green of the left wall, reflected in the open glazed door on the right, is heightened beyond expectation and picked up in the sky's tints. And the brushwork has a eupeptic, take-it-or-leave-it quality that must have seemed to deny craft even more than the comparatively settled way that Derain, his companion, was painting.
The new Matisses, seen in the autumn of 1905, were very shocking indeed. Even their handful of defenders were uncertain about them, while their detractors thought them barbaric. Particularly offensive was his use of this discordant colour in the familiar form of the salon portrait - even though the "victim" was his wife, posing in her best Edwardian hat.
There was some truth, if a very limited truth, to the cries of barbarism. Time and again, Matisse set down an image of a pre-civilized world, Eden before the Fall, inhabited by men and women with no history, languid as plants or energetic as animals. Then, as now, this image held great appeal for the over-civilized, and one such man was Matisse's biggest patron, the Moscow industrialist Sergey Shchukin, who at regular intervals would descend on Paris and clean his studio out. The relationship between Shchukin and Matisse, like the visits of Diaghilev and the Ballet Russe to France, was one of the components of a Paris-Moscow axis that would be destroyed forever by the Revolution. Shchukin commissioned Matisse to paint two murals for the grand staircase of his house in Moscow, the Trubetskoy Palace. Their themes were "Dance" and "Music".
Even when seen in a neutral museum setting, seventy years later, the primitive look of these huge paintings is still unsettling. On the staircase of the Trubetskoy Palace, they must have looked excessively foreign. Besides, to imagine their impact, one must remember the social structure that went with the word "Music" in late tsarist Russia. Music pervaded the culture at every level, but in Moscow and St. Petersburg it was the social art par excellence. Against this atmosphere of social ritual, glittering and adulatory, Matisse set his image of music at its origins - enacted not by virtuosi with managers and diamond studs but by five naked cavemen, pre-historical, almost presocial. A reed flute, a crude fiddle, the slap of hand on skin: it is a long way from the world of first nights, sables, and droshkies. Yet Matisse's editing is extraordinarily powerful; in allotting each of the elements, earth, sky, and body, its own local colour and nothing more, he gives the scene a riveting presence. Within that simplicity, boundless energy is discovered. The Dance is one of the few wholly convincing images of physical ecstasy made in the twentieth century. Matisse is said to have got the idea for it in Collioure in 1905, watching some fishermen and peasants on the beach in a circular dance called a sardana. But the sardana is a stately measure, and The Dance is more intense. That circle of stamping, twisting maenads takes you back down the line, to the red-figure vases of Mediterranean antiquity and, beyond them, to the caves. It tries to represent motions as ancient as dance itself.
The other side of this coin was an intense interest in civilized craft. Matisse loved pattern, and 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, the bright clutter of over-furnished rooms, within the painting. In particular he loved Islamic art, and saw a big show of it in Munich on his way back from Moscow in 1911. Islamic pattern offers the illusion of a completely full world, where everything from far to near is pressed with equal urgency against the eye. Matisse admired that, and wanted to transpose it into terms of pure colour. One of the results was The Red Studio, 1911.
On one hand, he wants to bring you into this painting: to make you fall into it, like walking through the looking-glass. Thus the box of crayons is put, like a bait, Just under your hand, as it was under his. But it is not a real space, and because it is all soaked in flat, subtly modulated red, a red beyond ordinary experience, dyeing the whole room, it describes itself aggressively as fiction. It is all inlaid pattern, full of possible "windows," but these openings are more flat surfaces. They are Matisse's own pictures. Everything else is a work of art or craft as well: the furniture, the dresser, the clock and the sculptures, which are also recognizably Matisses. The only hint of nature in all this is the trained houseplant, which obediently emulates the curve of the wicker chair on the right and the nude's body on the left. The Red Studio is a poem about how painting refers to itself: how art nourishes itself from other art and how, with enough conviction, art can form its own republic of pleasure, a parenthesis within the real world - a paradise.
This belief in the utter self-sufficiency of painting is why Matisse could ignore the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. When the war broke out in 1914, he was forty-five - too old to fight, too wise to imagine that his art could interpose itself between history and its victims, and too certain of his alms as an artist to change them. Through the war years, stimulated by a trip to North Africa, his art grew in amplitude and became more abstract, as in The Moroccans, 1916. In 1917 he moved, more or less permanently, to the South of France. "In order to paint my pictures," he remarked, "I need to remain for several days in the same state of mind, and I do not find this in any atmosphere but that of the Côte d'Azur." He found a vast apartment in a white Edwardian wedding cake above Nice, the Hótel Regina. This was the Great Indoors, whose elements appear in painting after painting: the wrought-iron balcony, the strip of blue Mediterranean sky, the palm, the shutters. Matisse once said that he wanted his art to have the effect of a good armchair on a tired businessman. In the 1960s, when we all believed art could still change the world, this seemed a limited aim, but in fact one can only admire Matisse's common sense. He, at least, was under no illusions about his audience. He knew that an educated bourgeoisie was the only audience advanced art could claim, and history has shown him right..."
- Text from "The Shock of the New", by Robert Hughes
In: //www.artchive.com/artchive/M/matisse.html

In 1941 the great painter Henri Matisse, recovering from traumatic surgery at the age of seventy-two, cultivated the art of the cut-out. By maneuvering scissors through prepared sheets of paper, he inaugurated a new phase of his career. Often confined to his wheelchair or a bed because of the surgery for duodenal cancer, two pulmonary embolisms, a prolapsed stomach, constrictions of the solar plexus, and the exhaustion caused by unrelenting insomnia, we can see him poised, in rapture, scissors ready for the inspiration to carve out color and shape together. The cut-out was not an abdication from painting and sculpting. It was a launching forward into a new plane of creativity and joy. Matisse said, "Only what I created after the illness constitutes my real self: free, liberated" (Flam Retrospective 378). Moreover, continued experimentation with cut-outs offered Matisse innumberable opportunities to fashion a new, aesthetically pleasing environment: "You see as I am obliged to remain often in bed because of the state of my health, I have made a little garden all around me where I can walk... There are leaves, fruits, a bird" (Cowart 233).
With his assistants, Matisse evolved a discipline:
A general system was then devised whereby his studio assistants brushed Linel gouaches on sheets of white paper.
The dried, colored papers, stockpiled as supplies, were available to Matisse at any given time. He often quite spontaneously cut out elements and placed them into compositions. As the play between consciously sought-for and the fortuitously-arrived at effects worked into their balances the projects moved toward completion. In the meantime many of them were posted about the studio walls (Cowart 14).
In the hand-written script that adorns Jazz, one of his cut-out masterpieces, Matisse speaks of the artist's need to be ever fresh:
A new painting should be a unique thing, a birth bringing a new face into the representation of the world through the human spirit. The artist should call for all of his energy, his sincerity, and the greatest possible modesty in order to push aside during his work the old cliches that come so readily to his hand and can suffocate the small flower which itself never turns out as one expected (Matisse xvi).
The Linel gouaches were employed because they "directly corresponded to commercial printers ink colors" (Cowart 17) and would reproduce perfectly. The cut-outs pulsate with energy. The bright, vibrant Linel colors, deep and Light Japanese Green, vert Emeraude (Imitation veridian), Deep Cadmium Yellow, Deep Cadmium Red, Deep Persian Red, Persian Violet, and Yellow Ochre (Cowart 274), keep leaping in front of our eyes.
Matisse seems to have executed the cut-outs with great joy. They allowed him to reach a goal:
The cut-out paper allows me to draw in color. It is a simplification. Instead of drawing an outline and filling in the color -- in which case one modified the other -- I am drawing directly in color, which will be the more measured as it will not be transposed. This simplification ensures an accuracy in the union of two means... It is not a starting point but a culmination (Cowart 17).
John Hallmark Neff sees the use of the cut-out as a logical step in Matisse's search for "the ultimate method":
each cut-out is a gesture, a continuous contour whose rightness depends on his ability to sustain the rhythm of his act, the flow of scissors through painted paper, a momentum which ensuredthe wholeness and integrity of each shape (Cowart 22).
Over the years I have developed some ideas, based on observations by Matisse, that have helped me to view and to meditate upon the cut-outs and the procedures which Matisse followed in making them. 1). The cut-out allowed Matisse to fashion shape and color at one and the same time. Matisse: "Thatís the reason I now work with cut-outs, in order to get a more powerful expression of pure color through the sharpness of the outline" (Flam Retrospective 383); 2). Colors directly affect the emotions. Matisse: "Thus simple colors can act upon the feelings with more force, the simpler they are. A blue for example, accompanied by the brilliance of its complementaries, acts upon the feelings like a sharp blow on a gong. The same with red and yellow; and the artist must be able to sound them when he needs to" (Flam On Art 196); 3). Colors must have strong relationships with one another; they must be positioned properly. Matisse: "It is not enough to place colors, however beautiful, one beside the other; colors must also react on one another. Otherwise, you have cacophony" (Flam On Art 216); 4). The cut-outs, especially the larger ones, posted on the walls of Matisse's studio, become a decorative, highly ornamental environment that was and is aesthetically and spiritually pleasing. We have countless photographs to prove that Matisse was his own interior decorator. He could improvise to his imagination's content by maneuvering the image/forms around their backgrounds, by placing cut-outs that were variations on a theme next to one another.Matisse: "There are flowers everywhere for those who want to see them" (Flam On Art 174).
Jazz: the title was well chosen. In a letter to Brother Rayssiguier, Matisse crisply defined it: "the talent for improvisation, the liveliness, the being at one with the audience" (Schneider 666). Jazz, indeed, and almost all of the other cut-outs I have seen, abound with lively improvisation. Each cut-out shape is an exercise in fresh observation and execution. But both Jazz and musical jazz display the rehearsed discipline that lies behind successful improvisation. Whereas the jazz musician improvises within a composition by re-discovering, rehearing riffs and progressions he has hit upon while rehearsing, Matisse instructed his assistants to move the completed cut-out figures around the colored or white backgrounds, again and again, experimenting, improvising, until the final, most desirable arrangements were achieved.
The colors and the animated shapes disport themselves with undeniable liveliness. We cannot be sure of what Matisse means by "being at one with the audience" -- but I would like to venture a guess. For many years I have had copies of individual "scenes" from Jazz posted on the walls of my study and my desk. They always delight me, they always inspire me with the joy that is involved in pure making, and they have become an irreplaceable part of my physical and psychological environment. A tribute to my love of jazz and my love of Matisse's art.
Some riffs or solos or passages from Jazz trigger my imagination. Perhaps "The burial of Pierrot" is the comic burial of the old Matisse, Matisse before his illnesses. The border is not solid. It is composed primarily of tiny pink teardrops or raindrops, although a few black drops appear at the bottom. Just above them yellow raindrops or teardrops dive. The eye moves from image/shape/color to image/shape/color. Strange root-squiggle forms, quite stubby, arise. White, they are echoed by the white plume in the horse's headdress, the stockier, squarer legs of the horse, the blue ornament on the side of the carriage, the white and blue back of the carriage. The funereal carriage -- we must remember that it is a circus wagon -- is a fabulous mechanism; it is clopping along on wheels that are out of round into black space. At the top, wedged within a magnificent bright magenta rectangle, are images of the leaves of the Maritime Arrowhead (Cowart 109). This cut-out is a feast for the eyes.
I love "The Nightmare of the White Elephant." Pure colors and pure shapes. The movement. There are no borders. Perhaps the sinuous black shapes guide our eyes toward the suspended white image, borne by red bolts and slashes above a blue star. But the black shapes, squiggles and roots and knobbed branches, seem to be living creatures, almost arm in arm in a dance across space. Thus, my eyes travel right to left from black branch or root or cell, around space and stop at the red flares sailing past white, over the blue star, red, white, and blue emerging from a searing yellow background. No nightmares here. A delight of thĐĎ ŕˇ± á
The many cut-outs titled "Lagoon" flourish with flower/amoeba forms. In "Lagoon I," Matisse has placed the positive of the magenta cut-out, the image carved out by the scissors, in relationship to the negative image, that which the scissors discarded, at least for the moment. Both kinds of lagoon shapes swell beyond the usual flower/amoeba form and become a long, sinuous swirl. One has a blackish bottom as if stationary, rooted, while the other floats freely in light blue space above a white, many-legged crawling form. A knobby-headed creature enters from the left. The right border is an orange shape that matches the bottom magenta shape, blockish on one side, possessing many waving tendrils on the other. A green squiggly, knobby form floats upward toward a white tendrilled figure cut out of black.
"Lagoon III" features forms that seem even more animalistic. Matisse has swollen, as it were, the forms so that the black one would seem to be a many-humped snail or snake, another a blue fish with a large maw, a blue antlered figure which is opposed to the bright red, caterpillar-like figure, and the last, a green trap of curled up claws.
For what seems to be the majority of his cut-outs, Matisse created and continually improvised upon a form I am going to name his "biota." Suggestive of animal or floral shapes, Matisse's biota are knobby, squiggly, several-lobed, many-footed or many-shooted. In Henri Matisse: Paper Cut-outs, they are referred to as "animal or undulating forms;" "alga;" "algae forms;" ěanimal and undulating forms;î "sea floor animals and plants;" "oceanic forms;" a "suspended dispersion of marine elements;" "plant forms;" "arabesques;" "leaf forms" and flowers. Matisse forged an amoeba-like form, a little cell that pushes, seeks, outwards in several directions. A germ that could shoot out to grow in whatever direction seemed most fruitful. It could bloom and climb like a stem or a flower; it could spread like a leaf. Matisse's shapes could be the fluttering wingtips of a hawk, exploring the wind. A hub of a fluid wheel moving outwards.
Pierre Schneider, in his monumental study Matisse, offers the idea that this form stems from the unconscious:
This protean form, which will be seen in the large gouaches to come, is all vigor, bringing to life all it touches. At once algae, hair, shell, coral, cloud, the human body, it demonstrates the kinship between the various kingdoms, the 'interpenetration of feeling.' It is, in a way, the symbol of the unconscious, that is, of the inner life (668).
"Fleurs de Neige" is one of the loveliest, one of the most fanciful cut-outs. Within squares of magenta, orange, and green, the sinuous forms condense, become wider, like snowflakes, fat snowflakes. The figure at the bottom right rises tall like a series of grouped stems. At top right the black form echoes the branching roots theme of some of the Jazz compositions. All of these figures grow, expand, search for space before your eyes. Some seem to have feet that can propel them out of the frame. Indeed, these portals of color are flowering with life. Yes, snow flowers in flakes, and brings blossoms to the places that it falls.
In "Les Velours" (Velvet) Matisse experiments once again with color arrangements. Not a single one of the twelve panels (or sheets to which the life-forms are glued) is white. Two are orange, two are blue, one is paler orange, one gray, one black, one mahogany. To say the least, the mixtures of color are unusual. White seahorses and horns and trees, knobby, squiggly, rooty shapes, float against the mahogany background. Red and yellow leaves, horny, leafy globules, drift downwards in blackness, a contrast apparently Chinese in inspiration. Light blue forms sprout out of light gray. Three black and blue skeleton-like tree forms spread across one dark orange panel; the other dark orange panel contains a smaller replica of the Lagoon form. In the middle large red roots, flanked by smaller blue trees, spread across the light orange soil. White lagoon figures are crammed into the blue panel. A light green panel is packed with six figures, four horned orange figures drifting downwards, two black ones arcing up. Edged with a black stripe, a green panel explodes with two white lagoons. The quadruple triptych ends with two yellow horned lagoons dancing out of blue.
Matisse improvises in "Les Velours" by contrasting colors with one another. White against a mahogany background. Red and yellow against black. Blue and black forms against gray; black branching against dark orange, light orange; white against green.
In "The Sheaf," leaf-forms, seed forms, radiate upwards and outwards, almost fill the white panel. Green, red, blue, orange, even black, often they seem to be hands exploring space. They have been launched into air. A fountain of colors, navy blue, dark green, blood red, orange, spouting out. Cowart suggests that Matisse has been inspired by Bergson's Evolution Creatrice: "For life is tendency, and the essence of the tendency is to develop in the form of a sheaf, creating, by its very growth, divergent directions among which the impetus is divided." (261). The multi-armed or footed or budding shapes flow -- or march -- outwards, across the background. These are not huddled stalks; energy -- "the impetus" -- is not bound. It has been released to penetrate into the surrounding space. Once again Matisse's central image is that of a budding life-force, a cell burgeoning outwards, an utterly dynamic form.
Matisse's "Sheaf" should be placed in the entryways of colleges and universities, art schools, courts, churches, places of public assembly. It is a paean to fertility, creativity, joy, joie de vivre.
One of the most famous cut-outs, "les betes de mer," contains, at the left bottom, the many-legged, three-humped monster "camel," a surging image of life questing horizontally through, nose sniffing into, a rose purple screen.
The sinuous forms that enter "Composition, Blue Background" suggest that there are no edges to the composition, that life-forms have clambered in, clasping, from the outside. One receives the strong impression that Matisse is trying to fill space in a dynamic and ornamental manner. When one looks at the wall of Matisse's study, covered with cut-outs, he gets the idea that space must be filled with flourishes. In "Composition" two figures are variations on a snake shape. Four different versions of a leaf form sail down across the left half. A four-legged amoeba-like creature marches at botttom left. Surrounding a black flower, blossoming across blue.
I see Matisse, full of joy, applying ornamental designs to the space surrounding him. Some of his earlier canvases display a desire to seed space with ornamental images. I am thinking of "Interior with Eggplants;" "Checker Game and Piano Music;" and "Nude Standing at the Mantelpiece," to name a few. Certainly the Tree of Life window in the Dominican Chapel of the Rosary at Vence exhibits the desire to enhance and embellish space with ornamentation. Two large cut-outs, "The Parakeet and the Mermaid" and "Large Decoration with Masks" swarm with rich, colored images. I hear a mantra filling the air: Create/improvise; arrange/compose; delight, delight.
Perhaps "Mimosa" reigns as the most energetic and kinetic of the cut-outs. Yellow-tendrilled, snake-like, sinuous flower forms surge over gray-hooded black shoots. Other Matisse biota fill the bright and light orange and mahogany panels: several black stylized idol forms and huge blue amoeba forms that seem to establish a triad; black long-legged spider forms. The colors are vivid, surging, a bit ominous.
The sinuous yellow dancing shape surrounds, perhaps rises out of, the gray-hooded black figures and dominates the center of the composition. It flowers outwards, and perhaps, as in the "Bataille des Fleurs" of Nice, conquers all of the other flower forms and receives the approval of the totemic black forms placed above and below on the left and in the middle on the right. Just below the totemic figures three black butterflies sail out of similar blue rooted or celled forms. A black spider drops from the right top corner. A long, dangling multi-branched black shape, a root system, stretches out below the mimosa. These images fill the orange squares, three-quarters of the composition, and the mahogany square at the bottom left. Matisse's biota surge forth, almost completely filling, with vibrant colors, brief space.
In the cut-outs Matisse improvised, with gusto, a lovely, forceful, and ornamental new art form. In a conversation with Brother Raysigguier, Matisse observed, "The primary quality of a work of art must be its decorativeness" (Schneider 704). Above all, this innovative, improvisatory art became a series of environments that nourished the mind and the soul. Environments that inspire while filling the immediate space with beauty and delight, and joie de vivre. - Dr. Robert Schuler, Professor

Francouzský malíř a sochař; 1890 odjel do Paříže, aby studoval práva. Teprve při rekonvalescenci po operaci slepého střeva začínal kopírovat laciné barevné pohlednice. Po návratu z nemocnice ho upoutalo malířství do té míry, že zanechal právnické kariéry a věnoval se umění. 1892 navštěvoval Académie Julian, 1893 vstoupil na Ecole des Beauz Arts ke G. Moreaziovi, kde se setkal s G. Rouaultem a později s A. Marquetem, Camoinem, Manguinem a O. Friesem vytvořil jádro skupiny fauvistů. 1896 vystavoval v Salonu de la Société Nationale. 1900 navrhl s Marquetem dekorativní malby pro světovou výstavu. 1901 mu A. Derain na van Goghově výstavě u Bernheima představil M. Vlamincka. 1902 vystavoval u Berthy Weilové, 1903 na Podzimním salónu. První samostatnou výstavu mu uspořádal 1904 A. Vollard. Na Podzimním salónu 1905 vystavil v Cage des Fauves plošně podané krajiny malované čistými barevnými tóny. 1906 se seznámil u Gertrudy Steinové s P. Picassem. 1907 otevřel v bývalém klášteře vyhledávanou malířskou školu; v témž roce vystavoval v Berlíně u Cassirera. 1910 měl samostatnou výstavu v pařížské Bernheimově galerii. 1911 odjel na Ščukinovo pozvání do Moskvy, kde se setkal s místními umělci, navštívil divadlo i balet a studoval byzantské a staré ruské malířství. 1911-12 podnikl dvě cesty do Maroka; začal se zabývat sochařstvím. 1917 se usadil v Cimiez u Nizzy a namaloval první obraz z cyklu Odalisky; navrhl scénu pro Ďagilevův balet k Stravinskému Slavičímu zpěvu. 1932 odjel do USA, kde na objednávku Barnes Foundation vymaloval sál v muzeu v Menonu (1933). 1939 se usadil ve Vence. 1943 začal tvořit cyklus Papiers découpés. Po druhé světové válce se spolu s Picassem staví za mírové hnutí. Posledním Matissovým velkým dílem byla malířská výzdoba kaple ve Vence (1949 až 1951). 1952 bylo otevřeno v Cateau Matissovo muzeum.
Rané Matissovo období (1896-1904) poznamenal vliv Cézannova díla; postupně zbavuje paletu tmavých tónů a vytváří kresebnou a barevnou zkratku, až dojde na konci periody k malbě zářícími pastami v čistých barevných tónech. Ve fauvistických obrazech (1904-7) jasné nelomené barevné skvrny svým rytmem a kontrastem vytvářejí tvar a prostor. 1907-11 se začíná uplatňovat vedle barvy i linie; rytmus kresby bývá zvýrazněn rytmem barevných ploch. Pobyt v Maroku 1912 obohatil Matissův kolorit o nové nebývalé tóny. 1913-18 usiloval o „vnitřní vyrovnanost zjednodušením myšlenek a plastických forem“ a snil o umění, jež by bylo „čímsi podobným dobrému křeslu, v němž si člověk odpočine po tělesné námaze“. Maloval figurální kompozice podobizny, zátiší a interiéry,v nichž sleduje především dekorativní účinek v rytmu kresebné arabesky a zářícího koloritu. Šťastná pohoda a radostná lehkost vyznívá z Matissových obrazů z dvacátých let. Od té doby rozvíjí svůj osobní sloh v stále nových variacích, zjednodušuje kresbu a zvýrazňuje barvu.
Matissovo malířské dílo doprovází bohatá činnost kreslíře, dekoratéra, ilustrátora a sochaře; ilustroval poezii P. Reverdyho, S. Mallarméa, Baudelaira, P. de Ronsarda a J. Joyce.
Matissovo malířské dílo představuje ryzí projev francouzského moderního kolorismu; jeho obrazy jsou malé slavnosti barev, určené k potěšení oka a povznesení ducha; jeho kultura barvy a vytříbená, suverénně „psaná“ kresba působily v širším okruhu na moderní malíře 20. století.
Vyňato z Encyklopedie světového malířství - Autorský kolektiv pod vedením PhDr. Sávy Šabouka DrSc.; nakl. Academia ČSAV 1975.
In: http://www.artchiv.cz/show.php3?action=explore_bio&id=152&session=04nd10r10y07h53t2006

Henri Matisse was born in 1869 in Cateau-Cambresis in Northern France. After studying law in Paris, he met Gustave Moreau, in whose studio he copied paintings before doing more personal work. In 1904, Matisse held his first show at Ambroise Vollard gallery ; in the summer of 1905, he and Derain discovered Gauguin's work in Collioures. This prompted him to paint a set of brightly-coloured pictures, of which his wife 's portrait in a flowery hat ; this painting caused a scandal at the Salon d'Automne. Matisse had treated the face in red, green and yellow, and the outraged critics assailed his vividly-coloured paintings, along with those of Derain, Vlaminck, Marquet and Rouault. Louis Vauxcelles, the art-critic who had already coined the term "cubism", called the room containing these works "la cage aux folles" (the wild beasts' cage). But the writer Gertrude Stein and her brother Leo very shrewdly bought the "Woman with hat". At the same time, Matisse was making his first lithographs, dry-points and etchings.
In 1906, Matisse travelled to Algeria, and in summer continued to paint landscapes in Collioures. Already acknoledged as a major artist, he taught at the school founded by a group of admirers ; in 1908 the Stieglitz gallery in New York held his first show in the U.S. ; and in 1910, the Bernheim-Jeune Gallery in Paris held his first retrospective show. In the next few years Matisse travelled to Seville, Moscow and Collioures, and spent the winter of 1911-12 in Tangiers. The pictures painted during this trip where shown in Paris and at the Armory Show in N.Y. In 1914, Matisse (aged 45) was not called up, in spite of having volunteered ; he settled in Collioures where he met Juan Gris. After the war, the Paul Guillaume gallery held a show in which Matisse's and Picasso's work came face to face. In 1920 Matisse designed the sets and costumes for Diaghilev's ballet "Le chant du rossignol" (Song of Nightingale). In 1930, he went on a trip to Tahiti, stopping in N.Y. and San Francisco on the way, and began his lithographs for an edition of Mallarmé's poetry. At this time his output of prints was already vast ; in the twenties, he has made tens of lithos and etchings or engravings. In 1937, Diaghilev commissioned him to design the sets for another ballet. The following year, he took rooms at the hotel Regina in Nice, where he painted his last masterpieces. In 1941, a surgical operation compelled him permanently to bed ; he had to work lying on his back, with the help of assistants. In 1944, his wife and daughter were arrested for co-operating with the french resistance.
In the late forties, Matisse illustrated Baudelaire's "Fleurs du mal" with 23 lithographs ; Marianne Alcoforado's "Lettres portugaises" with five lithographs ; Ronsard's "Florilège des amours" with 126 lithographs, "Visages" of Reverdy illustrated with 14 lithographs ; Tériade published "Jazz" in 1947 ; in 1948 Matisse illustrated Joyce's "Ulysses" with 6 etchings. He also made numerous other lithographs, aquatints, etchings and woodcuts during this period. 1948 was also the year in which Matisse began work on the project for the Rosary Chapel of the Dominican Nuns in Vence, which he completed and which was inaugurated by Father Couturier in 1951. In 1950 Matisse was awarded the special prize at the Venice Biennale ; in 1952, a Matisse museum open in Cateau Cambresis, his native town. Matisse died in Nice in 1954. In: http://www.michelfillion.com/oeuvres_eng.php?artiste=MATISSE * * * * * From: “The Shock of the New”, by Robert Hughes

Henri Matisse was born in 1869, the year the Cutty Sark was launched. The year he died, 1954, the first hydrogen bomb exploded at Bikini Atoll. Not only did he live on, literally, from one world into another; he lived through some of the most traumatic political events in recorded history, the worst wars, the greatest slaughters, the most demented rivalries of ideology, without, it seems, turning a hair. Matisse never made a didactic painting or signed a manifesto, and there is scarcely one reference to a political event - let alone an expression of political opinion - to be found anywhere in his writings. Perhaps Matisse did suffer from fear and loathing like the rest of us, but there is no trace of them in his work. His studio was a world within the world: a place of equilibrium that, for sixty continuous years, produced images of comfort, refuge, and balanced satisfaction. Nowhere in Matisse’s work does one feel a trace of the alienation and conflict which modernism, the mirror of our century, has so often reflected. His paintings are the equivalent to that ideal place, scaled away from the assaults and erosions of history, that Baudelaire imagined in his poem L’Invitation al Voyage:
Furniture gleaming with the sheen of years would grace our bedroom; the rarest flowers, mingling their odours with vague whiffs of amber, the painted ceilings, the fathomless mirrors, the splendour of the East ... all of that would speak, in secret, to our souls, in its gentle language. There, everything is order and beauty, luxury, calm and pleasure.
In its thoughtfulness, steady development, benign lucidity, and wide range of historical sources, Matisse’s work utterly refutes the notion that the great discoveries of modernism were made by violently rejecting the past. His work was grounded in tradition - and in a much less restless and ironic approach to it than Picasso’s. As a young man, having been a student of Odilon Redon’s, he had closely studied the work of Manet and Cézanne; a small Cézanne Bathers, which he bought in 1899, became his talisman. Then around 1904 he got interested in the coloured dots of Seurat’s Divisionism. Seurat was long dead by then, but Matisse became friends with his closest follower, Paul Signac. Signac’s paintings of Saint-Tropez bay were an important influence on Matisse’s work. So, perhaps, was the painting that Signac regarded as his masterpiece and exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants in 1895, In the Time of Harmony, a big allegorical composition setting forth his anarchist beliefs. The painting shows a Utopian Arcadia of relaxation and farming by the sea, and it may have fused with the traditional fête champétre in Matisse’s mind to produce his own awkward but important demonstration piece, Luxe, Calme et Volupte, 1904-5. In it, Matisse’s literary interest in Baudelaire merged with his Arcadian fantasies, perhaps under the promptings of Signac’s table-talk about the future Golden Age. One sees a picnic by the sea at Saint-Tropez, with a lateen-rigged boat and a cluster of bulbous, spotty nudes. It is not, to put it mildly, a very stirring piece of luxe, but it was Matisse’s first attempt to make an image of the Mediterranean as a state of mind.
In 1905 Matisse went south again, to work with André Derain in the little coastal town of Collioure. At this point, his colour broke free. Just how free it became can be seen in The Open Window, Collioure, 1905. It is the first of the views through a window that would recur as a favourite Matissean motif. All the colour has undergone an equal distortion and keying up. The terracotta of flowerpots and the rusty red of masts and furled sails become a blazing Indian red: the reflections of the boats, turning at anchor through the razzle of light on the water, are pink; the green of the left wall, reflected in the open glazed door on the right, is heightened beyond expectation and picked up in the sky’s tints. And the brushwork has a eupeptic, take-it-or-leave-it quality that must have seemed to deny craft even more than the comparatively settled way that Derain, his companion, was painting.
The new Matisses, seen in the autumn of 1905, were very shocking indeed. Even their handful of defenders were uncertain about them, while their detractors thought them barbaric. Particularly offensive was his use of this discordant colour in the familiar form of the salon portrait - even though the “victim” was his wife, posing in her best Edwardian hat.
There was some truth, if a very limited truth, to the cries of barbarism. Time and again, Matisse set down an image of a pre-civilized world, Eden before the Fall, inhabited by men and women with no history, languid as plants or energetic as animals. Then, as now, this image held great appeal for the over-civilized, and one such man was Matisse’s biggest patron, the Moscow industrialist Sergey Shchukin, who at regular intervals would descend on Paris and clean his studio out. The relationship between Shchukin and Matisse, like the visits of Diaghilev and the Ballet Russe to France, was one of the components of a Paris-Moscow axis that would be destroyed forever by the Revolution. Shchukin commissioned Matisse to paint two murals for the grand staircase of his house in Moscow, the Trubetskoy Palace. Their themes were “Dance” and “Music”.
Even when seen in a neutral museum setting, seventy years later, the primitive look of these huge paintings is still unsettling. On the staircase of the Trubetskoy Palace, they must have looked excessively foreign. Besides, to imagine their impact, one must remember the social structure that went with the word “Music” in late tsarist Russia. Music pervaded the culture at every level, but in Moscow and St. Petersburg it was the social art par excellence. Against this atmosphere of social ritual, glittering and adulatory, Matisse set his image of music at its origins - enacted not by virtuosi with managers and diamond studs but by five naked cavemen, pre-historical, almost presocial. A reed flute, a crude fiddle, the slap of hand on skin: it is a long way from the world of first nights, sables, and droshkies. Yet Matisse’s editing is extraordinarily powerful; in allotting each of the elements, earth, sky, and body, its own local colour and nothing more, he gives the scene a riveting presence. Within that simplicity, boundless energy is discovered. The Dance is one of the few wholly convincing images of physical ecstasy made in the twentieth century. Matisse is said to have got the idea for it in Collioure in 1905, watching some fishermen and peasants on the beach in a circular dance called a sardana. But the sardana is a stately measure, and The Dance is more intense. That circle of stamping, twisting maenads takes you back down the line, to the red-figure vases of Mediterranean antiquity and, beyond them, to the caves. It tries to represent motions as ancient as dance itself.
The other side of this coin was an intense interest in civilized craft. Matisse loved pattern, and 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, the bright clutter of over-furnished rooms, within the painting. In particular he loved Islamic art, and saw a big show of it in Munich on his way back from Moscow in 1911. Islamic pattern offers the illusion of a completely full world, where everything from far to near is pressed with equal urgency against the eye. Matisse admired that, and wanted to transpose it into terms of pure colour. One of the results was The Red Studio, 1911.
On one hand, he wants to bring you into this painting: to make you fall into it, like walking through the looking-glass. Thus the box of crayons is put, like a bait, Just under your hand, as it was under his. But it is not a real space, and because it is all soaked in flat, subtly modulated red, a red beyond ordinary experience, dyeing the whole room, it describes itself aggressively as fiction. It is all inlaid pattern, full of possible “windows,” but these openings are more flat surfaces. They are Matisse’s own pictures. Everything else is a work of art or craft as well: the furniture, the dresser, the clock and the sculptures, which are also recognizably Matisses. The only hint of nature in all this is the trained houseplant, which obediently emulates the curve of the wicker chair on the right and the nude’s body on the left. The Red Studio is a poem about how painting refers to itself: how art nourishes itself from other art and how, with enough conviction, art can form its own republic of pleasure, a parenthesis within the real world - a paradise.
This belief in the utter self-sufficiency of painting is why Matisse could ignore the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. When the war broke out in 1914, he was forty-five - too old to fight, too wise to imagine that his art could interpose itself between history and its victims, and too certain of his alms as an artist to change them. Through the war years, stimulated by a trip to North Africa, his art grew in amplitude and became more abstract, as in The Moroccans, 1916. In 1917 he moved, more or less permanently, to the South of France. “In order to paint my pictures,” he remarked, “I need to remain for several days in the same state of mind, and I do not find this in any atmosphere but that of the Côte d’Azur.” He found a vast apartment in a white Edwardian wedding cake above Nice, the Hótel Regina. This was the Great Indoors, whose elements appear in painting after painting: the wrought-iron balcony, the strip of blue Mediterranean sky, the palm, the shutters. Matisse once said that he wanted his art to have the effect of a good armchair on a tired businessman. In the 1960s, when we all believed art could still change the world, this seemed a limited aim, but in fact one can only admire Matisse’s common sense. He, at least, was under no illusions about his audience. He knew that an educated bourgeoisie was the only audience advanced art could claim, and history has shown him right.
One of the great pioneering masters of twentieth-century art, Henri Matisse was an extremely versatile and productive artist. Although he was an outstanding sculptor, he is most widely known and loved for his paintings and graphics.
Matisse's intended career was law. But in 1890, while recovering from an illness, he took up painting as a diversion, and against his parents' wishes, continued along this path. He traveled to Paris to pursue his art studies in the autumn of 1891, at the age of twenty-two. When he died, in 1954 at the age of eighty-five, he had created a body of work that has established him as one of the two foremost artists of the modern period, the other being Picasso.
The inventive genius of Matisse could not be confined within the limits of any one school of art. He studied the old masters; he explored Impressionism and post-Impressionism, and he ventured into various modes of expressive abstraction. Matisse was also leader of the first avant-garde movement of the 20th century, the Fauves ("The Wild Beasts"). This group was known as such because of the extreme emotionalism the paintings conveyed and the vivid use of color.
Matisse's images of the human figure convey expressive form first and the particular details of anatomy only secondarily. He extended this principle into other fields; his bronze sculptures, like his drawings and works in several graphic media, reveal the same expressive contours seen in his paintings. Matisse's recognition and influence continued to grow and he was very prolific in various media. In addition to the popularity of his paintings and sculpture, the graphics of Matisse are amongst the most sought after prints in the history of Western Art.
Much of Matisse's later years were spent in the south of France, where he continued to work. Matisse died in Nice in 1954. Unlike many artists, he was internationally popular during his lifetime, enjoying the favor of collectors, art critics, and the younger generation of artists.
In: http://www.artnet.com/artist/11322/henri-matisse.html

Henri Matisse was born in Cateau-Cambresis, France. He studied at university level for one year, winding up in the legal research department. He stumbled on painting while convalescing and entered the School of Fine Arts (Bouguereau studio) before moving on to the Gustave Moreau studio where he met Marquet, Rouault, Camoin and Manguin. In 1898 he met Derain.
In 1905, at the Salon de l’Automn, Fauvism was born. Matisse, who would front the movement, stood out thanks to his instinctive confidence in radiant colors. This was an art form, as far as he was concerned, that was both fashionable and sophisticated, but mainly characterized by his invention of wide-open fields of color. Matisse turned portraits into landscapes; after a Pointillist period (a myriad of little dabs of color applied to canvas), all of the hues would vibrate in a sort of chromatic dream.
The genius lies in the disposition of a painting’s elements, the true art being the perfect arrangement of the ensemble, the decoration, while excluding the superfluous. The exhibition of his 100th anniversary in New York will be greeted by the American critics as “the most beautiful exhibition in the world”! Every Matisse show brings in the crowds, and visitors know today the privileged place Matisse occupies in the history of 20th century art. This is partly due to the absolute power he breathed into the colors that danced on his canvas. Matisse is a legend and every one of his exhibitions is a huge success.
Henri-Emile-Benoît Matisse was born on December 31, 1869, in Le Cateau–Cambrésis, France. He grew up at Bohain-en-Vermandois and studied law in Paris from 1887 to 1888. By 1891, he had abandoned law and started to paint. In Paris, Matisse studied art briefly at the Académie Julian and then at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts with Gustave Moreau.
In 1901, Matisse exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris and met another future leader of the Fauve movement, Maurice de Vlaminck. His first solo show took place at the Galerie Vollard in 1904. Both Leo and Gertrude Stein, as well as Etta and Claribel Cone, began to collect Matisse’s work at that time. Like many avant-garde artists in Paris, Matisse was receptive to a broad range of influences. He was one of the first painters to take an interest in “primitive” art. Matisse abandoned the palette of the Impressionists and established his characteristic style, with its flat, brilliant color and fluid line. His subjects were primarily women, interiors, and still lifes. In 1913, his work was included in the Armory Show in New York. By 1923, two Russians, Sergei Shchukin and Ivan Morosov, had purchased nearly 50 of his paintings.
From the early 1920s until 1939, Matisse divided his time primarily between the South of France and Paris. During this period, he worked on paintings, sculptures, lithographs, and etchings, as well as on murals for the Barnes Foundation, Merion, Pennsylvania, designs for tapestries, and set and costume designs for Léonide Massine’s ballet Rouge et noir. While recuperating from two major operations in 1941 and 1942, Matisse concentrated on a technique he had devised earlier: papiers découpés (paper cutouts). Jazz, written and illustrated by Matisse, was published in 1947; the plates are stencil reproductions of paper cutouts. In 1948, he began the design for the decoration of Chapelle du Rosaire at Vence, which was completed and consecrated in 1951. The same year, a major retrospective of his work was presented at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and then traveled to Cleveland, Chicago, and San Francisco. In 1952, the Musée Matisse was inaugurated at the artist’s birthplace of Le Cateau–Cambrésis. Matisse continued to make large paper cutouts, the last of which was a design for the rose window at Union Church of Pocantico Hills, New York. He died on November 3, 1954, in Nice.
http://www.operagallery.com/artist/MATISSE_506;0;0.aspx

December 31, 1869 Henri-Émile-Benoît Matisse is born in the cottage of his maternal grandmother in Le Cateau-Cambrésis, France. He was raised in Bohain-en-Vermandois, an industrial textile center. Henri hates the northern winters.

His father, Émile Hippolyte Matisse, was a grain merchant whose family were weavers. His mother, named Anna Heloise Gerard, was a daughter of a long line of well-to-do tanners. She made hats and painted china. The young Matisse is a pensive child penchant to observe pigeons, a habit which he would reproduce in his later years.

1887 Once Matisse finishes school, his father Émile, a much more practical man, arranges for his son to obtain a clerking position at a law office. Matisse consideres law as tedious, however he passes the bar in 1888 with distinction.

He remains bed-ridden for two years attack after an attack of of appendicitis. Soon after he abandons his studies to dedicate himself to painting after mother buys him art supplies during the period of convalescence. She was the first to advises her son not to adhere to the “rules” of art, but rather listen to his emotions. Matisse said later, “From the moment I held the box of colors in my hands, I knew this was my life. I threw myself into it like a beast that plunges towards the thing it loves.”

1891 Matisse returned to Paris to study art at the Académie Julian and studies with the arch-academician William-Adolphe Bouguereau and the Symbolist Gustave Moreau. Matisse's own early style is a conventional form of naturalism. He makes numerous copies after the old masters but he also studies contemporary art, especially that of the impressionists. He begins to experiment, earning a reputation as the rebellious member of his studio classes.

1894 He has a daughter, Marguerite, with the model Caroline Joblau. Marguerite would often served as a model for Matisse in coming years.

1898 Matisse marries Amélie Noellie Parayre when he is twenty-eight. She devotes herself to her husband and urges him to pursue his artistic inclination. During the lean years she hires out as a hatmaker to help make ends meet. The marriage to Amélie also gives Matisse the opportunity to spend winters along the Mediterranean where he describes everything around him as “colour and light”.

Notwistanding the affection that unites them, Matisse tells his wife : “I love you dearly, mademoiselle; but I shall always love painting more.” The couple raises Marguerite. Two sons are born, Jean (born 1899) and Pierre (born 1900). Due to financial difficulties Mastisse lives temporarily with his parents. Amélie's parents were ruined in a spectacular scandal, as the unsuspecting employees of a woman whose financial empire was based on fraud. The family was supported through the sale of all the painter's still lives to a dealer who paid 400 francs apiece for them.

1896 Matisse exhibits 5 paintings in the salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. The state buys two of his compositions. His work shows the influence of the post-Impressionists Paul Cézanne, Gauguin, Van Gogh and Paul Signac but he is struck by Japanese art as well.

1900 Matisse earns some money painting a frieze for the World Fair at the Grand Palais in Paris. He traveles widely in the early 1900s when tourism was still a new idea. Brought on by railroad, steamships, and other forms of transportation that appeared during the industrial revolution, travel became a popular pursuit. As a cultured tourist, he developes his art with regular doses of travel.

1901 Matisse exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris and meets another future leader of the Fauve movement, Maurice de Vlaminck.

1904 Matisse's fi
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