Matisse a genius of the 20th century

In short Henri Matisse (1869–1954) made an intensive contribution to the adventure of modern art from the outset, along with his friend and rival Pablo Picasso. Leader of the "Fauves," Matisse's art is based on color, in a search for balance with the purity of the line. He focused on certain recurring themes, such as body movement and dance. Major artist of the XXth century Matisse pioneered in the pictorial and sculptural field and also in drawings and collages with famous "paper cut". He said "We are going to serenity by simplifying ideas and plastic. " His life Henri Matisse was born in Cateau-Cambrésis, in the North of France, and discovered his passion for painting at the age of 20. In 1892, he was a student at the School of Decorative Arts in Paris, and prepared for the "Beaux-Arts" school by working in the studio of Gustave Moreau, who encouraged him to develop his own style. Matisse ultimately did not follow the classical path and attended the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, where he was also introduced to sculpture. After a passage in the orbit of the neo-impressionists, the artist embarks on the adventure of pure color. In 1905 he participated in the Salon d'Automne, where he became the leader of the "Fauves" alongside André Derain and Maurice de Vlaminck . The painter works in large flat areas of color, renounces mimetic realism, and develops an Arcadian iconography. He is in search of a renewed ideal, classic but modern. Henri Matisse has a great sense of decoration. The arabesque is his favorite line, he cultivates it in particular through themes borrowed from the imagination of the Orient. After he moved to Nice during the Great War, odalisques became one of his favorite subjects. Matisse likes to work on the same motif, which he renews in multiple variations. In the 1940s, the artist was diagnosed with cancer. Restricted in his mobility, he worked on gouache and cut-out wallpapers, and began the "Jazz" series which gave rise to a book. Installed in Vence, in Provence, he designed a large decor for the Chapel of the Rosary, in gratitude for the care provided by his nurse, who had become a Dominican sister. Opened in 1951, this total decor (stained glass, ceramics, furniture, vestments, ornaments) is a major contribution to the sacred art of the XX th century. Matisse considered it to be his masterpiece. The artist died in 1954. His key works Henri Matisse, The Woman with the Hat , 1905 Oil on canvas • 80.6 × 59.6 cm • Coll. Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco • © Estate of H. Matisse This painting was exhibited at the Salon d'Automne in 1905. Matisse favored bright colors and flat areas. He takes liberties with respect to the tradition of portraiture: the pose is classic but the colors are freed from reality; the background, abstract, resembles a palette. Henri Matisse, The Dance , 1909 Oil on canvas • 260 × 391 cm • Coll. Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg • Photo The State Hermitage Museum Vladimir Terebenin / © Estate of H. Matisse This monumental format is almost a decoration, of which Matisse produced two versions. The artist treats the body's movement through the theme of the dance, which here seems primitive and tribal. The characters are naked. The genius consists in using only three colors, each as vivid as the other, but spared in a perfect balance. Henri Matisse, Blue Nude II , 1952 Gouache, cut out, pasted on paper mounted on canvas • 116.2 X 88.9 cm • Coll. Center Pompidou, Mnam, Paris • Photo Center Pompidou, MNAM-CCI / RMN-GP / © Succession H. Matisse This work belongs to the period of paper cut-outs, at the end of the painter's life. The female body is stylized, very sensual, although Matisse used the color blue, unnatural for such a subject. This work testifies to his mastery in the art of color. Henri Matisse, The Chapel of the Rosary: ​​stained glass window , 1951 Saint-Paul de Vence • Photo akg-images / Rainer Hackenberg / © Estate of H. Matisse The decoration of the Chapel of the Rosary is Matisse's ultimate work. In the stained glass windows, the artist develops plant motifs inspired by nature but with great stylization, harmonious oppositions of bright colors, which border on abstraction and in any case recall the technique of paper cut-outs dear to the artist until upon his death in 1954.
© Beaux Arts - Claire Maingon
Master of colors: video

Matisse a genius of the 20th century

In short Henri Matisse (1869–1954) made an intensive contribution to the adventure of modern art from the outset, along with his friend...