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Henri Matisse


Henri Matisse was a renowned French artist known for his significant contributions to modern art. He was a painter, sculptor, and printmaker, considered one of the leading figures of the Fauvism movement.

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Name: Henri

Surname: Matisse

Lives & Works:

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Date of Birth:

Date of Death: 1954


Movement: ,

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Henri-Matisse BIOGRAPHY

Image Credit: MoMA

Early Life and Education

Henri Matisse was born on New Year’s Eve in 1869 in Le Cateau-Cambrésis, France. Raised in Bohain-en-Vermandois, he initially pursued law, but after a transformative period of convalescence, he delved into painting in 1889.

Despite his father’s disapproval, Matisse committed to art, studying under renowned mentors in Paris. Inspired by Chardin, Van Gogh, and Impressionism, he evolved his style, embracing vivid colors. 

He married Amélie Parayre in 1898 and immersed himself in the art world, deeply influenced by Cézanne. Financial struggles prompted changes in his work, resulting in a more somber period of painting and exploration of sculpture.

What is Henri Matisse known for?

Image Credit: MoMA

Weiner had gained recognition as a pioneer of Conceptual art. His art took the form of poetic statements painted directly onto gallery walls. The statements explored ideas related to materiality, displacement, and the relationship between an artwork and the space it occupies. This innovative approach established Weiner as a seminal figure in the development of Conceptual art.


Image Credit: The New York Times

Henri Matisse’s artistic journey began when he studied law and worked as a court administrator. However, his passion for art led him to abandon his legal career and enroll at the Académie Julian in Paris. He later studied under the guidance of Gustave Moreau at the École des Beaux-Arts.

Early Paintings

  • Gustave Moreau’s Studio, 1894-1895
  • Blue Pot and Lemon, 1897 (Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia)
  • Le Mur Rose, 1898 (Jewish Museum Frankfurt)
  • Fruit and Coffeepot, 1898 (Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia)
  • Vase of Sunflowers, 1898 (Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia)
  • Study of a Nude, 1899 (Bridgestone Museum of Art, Tokyo)
  • Still Life with Compote, Apples and Oranges, 1899 (The Cone Collection, Baltimore Museum of Art)
  • Crockery on a Table, 1900 (Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia)

Henri Matisse List of Work

Image Credit: The New York Times

Selected Works: Paris, 1901–1910 by Henri Matisse

Matisse’s diverse body of work includes paintings, drawings, and cut-paper collages. His art is characterized by its vibrant colors, bold compositions, and a distinctive blend of traditional and modern influences.

Some of his notable creations include the following.

  • Luxembourg Gardens, 1901, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Dishes and Fruit, 1901, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • A Glimpse of Notre-Dame in the Late Afternoon, 1902, Albright–Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York
  • Nu (Carmelita), 1904, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  • Luxe, Calme et Volupté, 1904, Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France
  • Landscape at Collioure, 1905, Museum of Modern Art, New York City
  • Open Window, Collioure, 1905, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
  • Portrait of Madame Matisse (The green line), 1905, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Le bonheur de vivre, 1905–6, Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Self-Portrait in a Striped T-shirt, 1906, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • The Young Sailor II, 1906, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
  • Vase, Bottle and Fruit, 1906, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Blue Nude, 1907, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland
  • La coiffure, 1907, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany
  • Madras Rouge, The Red Turban, 1907, Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Exhibited at the 1913 Armory Show)
  • Le Luxe II, 1907–08, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Les trois baigneuses (Three Bathers), 1907, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis
  • Bathers with a Turtle, 1908, Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis
  • Game of Bowls, 1908, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • La Danse (first version), 1909, Museum of Modern Art, New York City
  • Still Life with Dance, 1909, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • La Danse (second version), 1910, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Les Capucines (Nasturtiums with The Dance II), 1910–12, Pushkin Museum, Moscow, Russia
  • Music, 1910, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Sculptures by Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse’s artistic pursuits were not limited to painting alone; he also ventured into the realm of sculpture, where his innovative approach to form and expression continued to flourish. 

Matisse’s sculptures are marked by a distinct blend of classicism and modernism, combining traditional sculptural techniques with his unique artistic language. 

Some of Matisse’s notable sculptures include:

  • Le Serf (The Serf, Der Sklave): Created between 1900 and 1904, this bronze sculpture captures the human figure in a contemplative and evocative pose. The piece exemplifies Matisse’s ability to convey emotional depth through simplified forms.
  • Sleep: Crafted in 1905 from wood, this sculpture was exhibited during the Blue Rose (Голубая Роза) exhibition in 1907. 
  • Nu couché, I (Reclining Nude, I): Executed in bronze during 1906–07, this sculpture captures a reclining nude figure. Exhibited at the Montross Gallery in New York in 1915, it demonstrates Matisse’s skill in translating the sensual curves of the human body into sculptural form.
  • Awakening: Sculpted in plaster in 1907, the sculpture conveys a sense of motion and emergence, capturing a moment of transformation and vitality.
  • Figure décorative: Created in bronze in 1908, the piece showcases his ability to distill the human figure into elegant and abstracted forms.

Final Years and Cut-Outs

Henri Matisse’s health challenges in his final years prompted a shift to cut paper collages. Despite being bedridden, he collaborated with assistants to craft vibrant compositions. 

The resulting cut-outs bridged painting and sculpture, exemplified by works like Oceania the Sky and Oceania the Sea (1946), showcasing Matisse’s enduring creativity.

Legacy and Impact

Henri Matisse’s lasting impact on the art world is profound. Comparable to William Shakespeare’s influence on literature and Sigmund Freud’s impact on psychology, Matisse’s contribution to the Fauvism movement is immeasurable. 

Matisse’s influence transcended his time, shaping the trajectory of art movements in the 20th century. His ideas, along with Hans Hofmann’s principle of color as a structural element, found their way into American abstract art. 

Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and other color field painters incorporated these concepts into their work, perpetuating Matisse’s legacy. His influence continues to resonate in the works of subsequent artists and movements, solidifying his status as a pivotal figure in 20th-century art.

What could a NFT Story of Henri Matisse sound like?

Imagine an immersive NFT story that delves into Matisse’s creative process, inspirations and the stories behind his masterpieces. This digital experience could provide a new dimension to understanding his artistic vision and legacy.

More about Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse’s enduring impact on modern art and innovative artistic approach continue inspiring artists and art enthusiasts worldwide. 

Visit the official website to explore the full list of Henri’s works and stay informed about any recent updates.

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