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Henri Matisse Biography

French artist Henri Matisse was born in 1869 in Le Cateau-Cambrésis, France. is known as one of the most influential and prominent artists of the early twentieth century. Matisse is most known for being a painter, but he was also a draughtsman, printmaker and sculptor. He began his life studying law in Paris, destined to become a lawyer. However, he suffered a bout of appendicitis and was brought art materials by his mother whilst he recovered. It was at this serendipitous point that Matisse discovered art.

In 1891 he moved back to Paris in order to study at the Académie Julian, under masters Gustave Moreau and William-Adolphe Bouguereau. Matisse is known for his intense colour, which associated him with the Fauvist movement in 1900-1905. His most popular pieces were created in the decade following 1906, wherein he used decorative patterns and focussed on flattened form.

Matisse gained contemporary critical acclaim for upholding the classical styles association with traditional French painting. Towards the end of his life, he experimented with a different medium; using cut paper to form collages. Matisse died after a heart attack at the age of 84 in Nice, France. Matisse’s grandson and great-granddaughter have both followed in his footsteps as artists.

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