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Introducing Matisse

Henri Emile Benoit Matisse was born on 31st

December 1869 in the French town of Le Cateau
His mother, Anna worked as a milliner and his
father, Emile had been a drapers assistant
In 1887 he was sent to Paris to study law and after
passing took a job as a law office clerk
During this period he didnt show any interest in
In 1890, however, while recovering slowly from an
attack of appendicitis, he became intrigued by the
practice of painting

Having given up his law career in 1892, he went to
Paris to study art
Studied the contemporary art, especially that of the
he began to experiment, earning a reputation as a
rebellious member of his studio classes
Matisse's true artistic liberation, in the use of
color to render forms, came about in 1899 through
the influence of Paul Cezanne and Vincent Van

Luxe, Calme et Volupte (1905)

Under the influence of Paul Signac and HenriEdmund Cross, two major neo impressionist painters
Matisse started to use bright vivid colours, applied
in divisionist technique which was to culminate in
Luxe, Calme et Volupte

Fauvism - the Origin

1905 - at Salon dAutomne first exhibition of
Matisse along with the works by Marquet, Vlaminck
and Derain

The art critic Louis Vauxcelles christened the

first true evolution of 20th Century Art.

On seeing a classical Florentine bronze sculpture

lost among the richly colourful and flamboyantly
nontraditional paintings he exclaimed Donatello
pemi les fauves''

Hence this movement in which colour ruled

supreme got the name Fauvism

The Open Window

Colour was the mortar
of Matisse's art, and he
used it liberally that
makes his scenes vibrant,
and inviting
The vermillion masts of
blue boats floating on
pink waves below a sky
banded with turquoise,
pink, and grey.

When I put a green, it is

not grass. When I put a
blue, it is not the sky.

The Green Stripe

The green stripe down
the center of Amlie
Matisse's face acts as a
shadow and divides the
face in the conventional
portraiture style, with a
light and a dark side
The left side of the face
seems to echo the green
in the picture's right, the
corresponding is true
for the right side of the
face, where the pink
responds to the orange
and magenta on the left

Seated Riffian
all the fundamental
fauvism with its choice
of simple subject (a
paint strokes, and use
of unnatural colors.
elements portrayed in
unrealistic shades of
vivid colors applied
with active brushwork

Robe violette et Anemones

Girl with Green Eyes

Role of Matisse in Fauvism

Matisse was one of the major components of Fauvism
Sought greater freedom of expression than his
Rejection of sentimental components of VanGogh,
intellectual preoccupation of Seurat and Cezanne
Fauvism reflects an existential happiness subject
only to instinctive nonscientific laws of colour
Matisse liberated color from any requirements other
than those posed by the painting itself.
Color as a tool of artistic intention and expression,
no longer limited by the imitation of nature.

La Musique

Precursors tried to convey - impressions of what they

saw or gave an expression through their experience
rationally or through emotions
Matisse went steps further in the transformation of
the sight before him into decorative pattern - An
interplay of patterns.
objects form the motif of the picture
The use of floral patterns and other references of
nature that generally forms his backdrop developed
from his study of oriental carpets and visual aspects
of tapestries, embroideries etc
Exhibition of Islamic art Munich, 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.

Left, Harmony in Red

Right, the Red Studio

The red interior

Figure on an ornamented
ground, Oil on Canvas

Still life with oriental rugs (1906)

The Egyptian Curtain

Red Interior, Still life on a blue table

Outlines simplified and

forms distorted just to
create a visual harmony
and to insure a continuous
flow in the paintings

Flowers in a Pitcher

Romanian Blouse

Joy of Life (1906)


an art of balance, of purity

and serenity, devoid of
troubling or depressing
subject matter
- Matisse
Paintings as an ode to joy
Goldfish was an important
emblem that Matisse used,

Dance (1910)
Dance was to summon up energy and give a feeling of
Figures with pure, elastic movement, seem to convey
the essence of dance as an expression of life itself

The Blue Window

A view from the bedroom of
Matisse in his villa at Issyles-Molineaux. The roof of
Matisses studio can be seen
emerging through the trees
at the left

too many colours confuse

the eye and lessen the
impact of preceding ones
- Matisse


THE DREAM, Matisse

THE DREAM, Picasso

Two women in an Interior (1920)

Woman and Goldfish (1921)

Odalisque with Red Bloomers (1925)

Jazz - Henri Matisses greatest book project

In 1938, he began working extensively in paper cut or
gouache decoupee, that culminated in the publication
of Jazz
A large unbound book, it consists of 146 pages with
20 full-page color plates
plates recall the artists memories of circuses,
folktales, and voyages
Matisse planned to call the book The Circus but then
changed the title to Jazz to reflect the joyous nature
of imagery
Contrary to its childlike appearance, Jazz
demonstrates a sophisticated interplay of color,
form, and space

The Clown, Jazz

Icarus, Jazz

The Circus, Jazz

The Music, Jazz