Henri Matisse Biography

December 31, 1869, Le Cateau, Picardy,(France)- November 3, 1954, Nice (France)

Master French painter, printmaker, sculptor and illustrator Henri Matisse is often regarded as the most important French painter of the 20th century. A leader of the Fauvist movement,he is best known for his characteristic style of flat, brilliant color and fluid line.

Matisse's parents were determined that he should study law, and sent him to University in Paris. During this period, in the year 1890, Matisse fell ill with appendicitis. There followed a long period of convalescence in which his mother gave him paints and paper to keep him from boredom. Matisse is said to have discovered a love of painting during this time, which gave him a new sense of freedom.

In 1891 he returned to Paris, fully recovered, this time, against the wishes of his parents, to study art. While in Paris, Matisse received his training at various schools, such as, Academie Julian and Ã?cole des Arts Decoratifs.

He soon rose to become a master painter, printmaker, collage artists and sculptor. Creating his greatest masterpieces between 1909 and 1917, he ranks among the greatest artists of his time. His use of color and form remains a great influence on artists even today.

In his own words: 'What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or disturbing subject-matter...like a comforting influence, a mental balm-something like a good armchair in which one rests from physical fatigue.'

SELECTED MUSEUMS AND COLLECTIONS - Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York - Guggenheim Museum, New York - Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg - Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco - Matisse Museum, Nice, France - Museum of Fine Arts, Houston - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - Museum of Modern Art, New York - National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC - National Gallery of Australia - National Gallery of Canada - San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - Art Institute of Chicago - Cincinnati Art Museum - Cleveland Museum of Art - Dallas Museum of Art - Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gallery - Kimbell Art Museum, Texas - Kunsthaus Zurich - Thyssen-Bornemesza Museum, Madrid - Tate Gallery, London - Walker Art Center, Minnesota