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Henri Matisse Prints

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Henri Matisse's (1869-1954) work covers vast styles of art – from painting, drawing, sculpture, paper cutouts (Le Lagon), to even book illustrations. His subjects are just as varied as his diverse methods of creating art, such as: still lifes, portraits, landscapes, interiors (particularly of his studio or domestic settings), and he was especially known for his images of female figures (Odalisque series).

Matisse can be thought of as an artist who conquered several periods (“-isms”) throughout his long career. From neo-impressionism, to fauvism, to modernism, Matisse employed brilliant use of colour and even developed his own pictorial language. Fauvism perhaps was his high point, in which the artist was a leader of the movement. Such works created in the fauve style, like the infamous Joy of Life, are created through bold and “wild” colours (“wild” comes from the derivation of the word “fauve” which when translated from French to English means “wild beast”).

Bold and bright colours can also be found in his paper cut outs, which can be derived from decorative art such as textiles, in which patterned surfaces were of great influence. His work may range in style and form, but one thing is certain: his innovative use of colour to arouse emotions inspired generations to follow.

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