Henri Matisse is one of the most well known artists who helped develop art and sculpture in the twentieth century. Matisse was born in Le Cateau, France in 1869. He was the first born son of a middle class family who owned a flower shop. Matisse started his working career after he finished studying law. He would not start to take an interest in art until he became ill and his mother purchased him art supplies to help him pass the time. That is when Matisse became interested in art, and in 1892 he would leave his law career behind to travel to Paris to study art.
Henri Matisse began his art studies in Paris under instructors that were mostly conservative. Matisse's early works are mostly still lifes, but he would eventually start experimenting with a more abstract approach in his artwork. He was greatly influenced by famous artists like Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cezanne. He would experiment with the techniques used by other artists, sometimes even mimicking other pieces of famous artwork. Matisse used the painting methods of other artists, combined with his own unique brushstrokes to define his own painting technique. Many of Matisse's paintings exhibited bright colors.
While in art school Henri Matisse started moving away from the more conservative approaches he was taught. He was often thought of as being rebellious since his works were becoming more and more abstract. His use of very bold colors was also one of the reasons his artwork was considered controversial. However, Matisse did not let the controversy over his artwork stop him from continuing in his art career. He continued painting and in 1904 he met another famous painter, Pablo Picasso. It was in 1904 that Matisse had his first art exhibition. In 1905, he would have another exhibit with a group known as the "fauves." The term "fauves" came from the wild brush strokes and colors used in the paintings. Matisse and several other artists helped to bring about a painting method known as fauvism.
Henri Matisse used fauvism to show emotion in his paintings, especially his paintings of women. He not only liked to paint still lifes, but he was also known for painting women. One of his models included his daughter, Marguerite, who was born just a few years after he moved to Paris to study art. In his later years Matisse would soften the approach to his artwork while residing in the French Riviera.
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