The Life and Works of Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse was born in 1869 in the north of France and, as longtime Time magazine critic Robert Hughes has pointed out, Matisse lived from the end of one world to the beginning of another, dying the year the first nuclear device was tested on Bikini toll, 1954. Wrote Hughes, "he lived through some of the most traumatic political events in recorded history, the worst wars, the greatest slaughters, the most demented rivalries of ideology, without, it seems, turning a hair." (Hughes, date unknown) Unlike many artists of the turn of the century-and he was working then-or during the First World War, not to mention the Second World War-Matisse remained steadfast in his attention to the same ...

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in color." (1993)
Amazingly enough, Matisse had begun, like Picasso, working from the 'antique' and making academic drawings and paintings, had moved on from there to Impressionism before developing a unique approach of his own, one which would be given a name that applied to very few artists.
It is, in fact, an odd thing that a man who apparently had no political leanings, and whose subject matter is devoid of conflict, should be called King of the Fauvists. The term Fauvism was coined by art critic Louis Vauxcelles for three painters, Matisse, Andre Derain and Maurice de Vlaminck. Translated, it means The Beasts. The three artists had developed a palette unlike those that had gone before, dependent on bright, almost unmixed hues. (Phillips, 1993) The summer the term was coined, 1904, was the first of the very few years that would be known as the Fauvist Period, 1904-1908. That summer, also, was the first Matisse spent at a fishing village in the south of France, ...

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a Persian painting.
Hughes points out that Matisse's achievement lies in proving that great discoveries in modernism need not reject the past, but could be grounded in tradition (Hughes, date unknown), even if it was a foreign tradition. Matisse has doubtless incorporated some of the ideas on that score of his own early teachers, as well; these include Odilon Redon, and Matisse also studied works of Manet and Cezanne. In fact, Cezanne's small painting, Bathers, which Matisse had purchased in 1899 was his talisman. When he later became, in 1904, a friend of pointilist Seurat's student Paul Signac, his interest in both color and the vibrancy of St. Tropez-a favorite subject of ...

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Added: 7/12/2016 03:43:19 AM
Category: Arts
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