Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse was born on December 31, 1869 in Le Cateau-Cambresis in northern France.

 

As a young man, Matisse traveled to Paris to study law and in 1889 he returned home to work in a law office as a clerk. It was around this time that he had an attack of appendicitis which required surgery. To make the long recovery more enjoyable, his mother gave him a paint box. It was then, at the age of 21, that Matisse discovered painting and decided to become an artist.

 

In 1891 Matisse travelled to Paris to study art at the Academie Julian  and in 1897  was introduced to Impressionism and to the work of Vincent van Gogh. Matisse was fascinated by this new and interesting way of painting and his style changed completely.

Henri Matisse

In 1905, Matisse along with a group of artists which became known as "Fauves" (The Wild Beasts) exhibited together at the Salon d'Automne. The paintings shown were expressive, often without regard for the natural colours of the subject. Matisse's works in particular contained aggressive brush strokes and bold primary colours. The show brought sudden fame to Matisse with his "Woman with the Hat" being purchased by American writer and modern art collector Gertrude Stein.

 

In the 1940's Matisse began creating cut paper collages, often rather large pictures, called gouaches decoupes. He called this new technique "painting with scissors". His cut paper collages demonstrated his eye for colour and geometry in a simple, yet powerful way.

 

In 1954, at the age of 84, Matisse died a recognized leader in modern art. Two years before his death a museum was opened to honour his work. It now holds the third-largest Matisse art collection in France.

In this collection you'll find lithographs and prints from Verve, the Last Works of Henri Matisse, Derriere le Miroir, Jazz, as well as a range of other prints.