Henri Matisse

Portrait of Henri Matisse 1933 May 20
A portrait of Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse (Le Cateau-Cambrésis, Nord, 31 December 1869 – 3 November 1954) was a French artist known for his use of colour and his original ideas.

He is mainly known as a painter, but he was also a draughtsman, printmaker and sculptor. Matisse was one of the main artists who helped to create modern art early in the 20th century.

"Matisse created brilliantly coloured canvases structured by colour applied in a variety of brushwork, ranging from thick impasto [thick paint] to flat areas of pure pigment, sometimes accompanied by a sinuous, arabesque-like line. [This was] the first of the avant-garde movements (1905–7), named "Fauvism" by a contemporary art critic, referring to its use of arbitrary combinations of bright colors and energetic brushwork to structure the composition".

Although he was initially called a Fauve (wild beast), he painted many traditional themes. He painted from life, and his work includes many portraits and other figurative subjects. His mastery of the expressive language of form and colour, in work spanning over a half-century, won him recognition as a leading figure in modern art.

Matisse died of a heart attack in Nice, Alpes-Maritimes.

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Henri Matisse for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.