Henri Matisse, main representative of Fauvism, was born in the French town Cateau- Cambresis on 31 December 1869. His full name was Henri Emile Benoit Matisse. His father’s profession was wheat trade.
Matisse finished school in his birthplace and in 1887, at age 18, he moved to Paris in order to study law and become a lawyer. In the French capital he remained only for a year and then went to the city Saint Quentin where his family was living. There he worked in a law firm until 1890 where he got sick from appendicitis. His illness forced him to stay in bed for a whole year. His mother, wanting to help him have a good time, gave him a box of oil paints. That was the first time Matisse got in contact with painting and discovered his innate talent.
Once he fully recovered, Matisse quit his job and moved to Paris to deal exclusively with his art. In the artistic climate of the French capital, Matisse paints experimenting in various styles and artistic tendencies, nurturing this way his talent. During this period he manages to live by selling some paintings, including the “Woman Reading,” bought by the French government.
The year 1898 he decides to join his life with that of Amélie Noellie Parayre, which he marries. Along with painting he decides to deal with sculpturing, so he started studying, the new for him art, in the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. At the same time he is changing the style he painted so far and starts using brightly colored paintings. In 1901 he falls ill with bronchitis, which forces him to stay in bed. Family finances, which were never in good condition, get worse and thus forcing his wife to work.
For four years Matisse follows the new artistic path of vibrant colors, evolves it and eventually in 1905 exposes his works in the Salon d ‘Automne. Along with him expose their works, artists who have chosen the same path of expression and creation. Art critic Louis Vauxcelles, who visited the exhibition, named the artists who took part in it, «les fauves» meaning “wild beasts”. This nickname was adopted by these painters and so was born the art movement of Fauvism.
After the exhibition in the Salon d’Automne begins his recognition, as well as his economic prosperity. The artist begins to travel to various places, while exhibitions were organized in Berlin, Moscow and New York.
After 1917, the artist settles in French Nice where he continues to express himself through various arts, completing the list of those with the art of collage.
In 1941, at the age of 72, was hit by cancer, thus spending his last years in a wheelchair. He continues his creations for another 13 years, until the time of his death, on November 3, 1954, at the age of 85 years.
This article is for www.leedscanvas.com