Henri Matisse

Le Cateau-CambrésisNizza

Henri Matisse, French painter, draughtsman, graphic artist and sculptor, was an important artist of classical modernism and a pioneer and main representative of Fauvism. He initially studied law and discovered his artistic passion in a roundabout way when he made his first painting studies while recovering from a severe appendicitis. Matisse decided to give up his legal career and began to study art, where he learnt from Gustave Moreau, among others. He became intensively involved with Impressionism, with Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin, and discovered the effect of bright colours around 1900, which he increasingly used in his work from then on. This resulted in more abstract and decorative sections of his work, in which Matisse harmonised the lightness of the colours with flowing forms, lines and contours. Inspired by his many travels, he created important paintings, illustrations, drawings, collages, sculptures, stage sets and costumes. Matisse expressed a special lightness in his work, which is evident in his language of colour and sketch. In 1908, he founded the Académie Matisse in Paris, where he taught his students from Germany and abroad.

Selected Artworks