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The Life of Henri Matisse

Satisfactory Essays
The Life of Henri Matisse

This is a project on the life of Henri Matisse the painter. A

selection of his work throughout his painting career of nearly 60

years are displayed in the text starting with the Attic Studio painted

in 1903 and ending with Nu Bleu 1 painted in 1952.

Henri Matisse was born in December of 1869 in Le Château, France. He

was born and brought up in a middle-class family and was well

educated, eventually qualifying and then practising as a lawyer.

[IMAGE]The Attic Studio- 1903

His life changed in 1890, however, while recovering slowly from an

attack of appendicitis, he became very interested in painting. In

1892, when he was aged 23 he had become so interested that he was

ready to give up being a lawyer and study art and painting full time.

He made that decision and having given up his law career, he went to

Paris to study art properly.

His first teachers were trained and very good so he had a solid

grounding. Matisse's own early style was an ordinary form of

naturalism although it was also realistic, meaning that it was about

everyday life. Also, he made many copies after the old masters to

develop his skills.

The French painters Paul Gauguin and Paul Cézanne and the Dutch artist

Vincent van Gogh, whose work he studied closely beginning about 1899,

first influenced Matisse's early work. Around 1904 Matisse came across

the paintings of George Seurat, a French painter who had died in 1891.

Seurat was a very technical painter and had developed a style of

painting using lots of coloured dots. As a result of this interest

Matisse met and became friends with Henri Edmond Cross and Paul Signac

who were both followers of Seurat.

[IMAGE]

Conversation- 1909

Cross and Signac were experimenting with small strokes (often dots or

"points") of pure pigment to create the strongest visual vibration of

intense colour. Matisse adopted their technique and modified it

repeatedly, using broader strokes.
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