Our site uses technology that is not supported by your browser, so it may not work correctly.
See Article History Alternative Title: He was the leader of the Fauvist movement aboutand he pursued the expressiveness of colour throughout his career. His subjects were largely domestic or figurative, and a distinct Mediterranean verve presides in the treatment.
Formative years Matisse, whose parents were in the grain business, displayed little interest in art until he was 20 years old. From to he attended the secondary school in Saint-Quentin; after a year of legal studies in Parishe returned to Saint-Quentin and became a clerk in a law office.
Soon he was decorating the home of his grandparents at Le Henri matisse the back iv of. In he abandoned the law and returned to Paris to become a professional artist. Matisse did not, however, become a member of the avant-garde right away.
That Matisse should have begun his studies in such a conservative school may seem surprising, and he once explained the fact by saying that he was acting on the recommendation of a Saint-Quentin painter of hens and poultry yards. His earliest canvases are in the 17th-century Dutch manner favoured by the French Realists of the s.
Moreau, a tolerant teacher, did not try to impose his own style on his pupils but rather encouraged them to develop their personalities and to learn from the treasures in the Louvre. He was elected an associate member of the Salon society, and his Woman Reading was purchased by the government.
From this point onward he became increasingly confident and venturesome, both as an artist and as a man. During the next two years he undertook expeditions to Brittany, met the veteran Impressionist Camille Pissarroand discovered the series of Impressionist masterpieces in the Gustave Caillebotte Collection, which had just been donated—amid protests from conservatives—to the French nation.
His colours became, for a while, lighter in hue and at the same time more intense. In he took his first major step toward stylistic liberation and created a minor scandal at the Salon with The Dinner Table, in which he combined a Pierre-Auguste Renoir kind of luminosity with a firmly classical composition in deep red and green.
Turnerand working in Corsicawhere he received a lasting impression of Mediterranean sunlight and colour. Portrait of Madame Matisse.
Often accompanied by his close friend Albert Marquet, who was also interested in the problem of pure colour, he began to paint outdoor scenes in the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, in suburban Arcueil, and from the open window of his apartment overlooking the Seine.
Matisse also purchased from Vollard the plaster model of the bust of Henri Rochefort by Auguste Rodinand during he began to attend an evening class in sculpture. His early work in three dimensions, the first of some 60 pieces he executed during his lifetime, reveals the influence not only of Rodin but also of Antoine-Louis Baryegenerally considered the greatest French sculptor of animals.
After Matisse ceased to exhibit at the Salon and gradually became a familiar figure in the Parisian circles where modern art was being produced and ardently discussed. But in spite of such recognition, he was often on the brink of financial disaster.
His wife opened a dress shop in the hope of helping to make ends meet. In an attack of bronchitis forced him to take a long rest.
The carefully placed little dabs required by the additive-mixture approach turned into swirls and slabs of spontaneous brushwork, and the theoretically realistic colours exploded into an emotional display of complementaries: Representative of this new freedom were Open Window, Collioure, which was finished at Collioure, and Woman with Hat, a portrait of his wife painted back in Paris in September.
Almost immediately Matisse became its acknowledged leader. Almost immediately, too, his financial situation altered for the better. In a group of admirers, who included Sarah Stein and Hans Purrmann, organized for him a Left Bank art school, in which he taught off and on until Fauvism was too undisciplined to last long, and soon its adherents were moving, according to their temperaments, toward ExpressionismCubismor some kind of neo-traditionalism.
He had, however, too much rationalism in his outlook not to wish for some order in a stylistic situation that threatened to become chaotic, and his search for chromatic equilibrium and linear economy can be followed in a series of major works produced between the revelation of Fauvism in and the end of World War I.
The forms tend to be outlined in flowing, heavy contours and to have few interior details; the colour is laid on in large, thin, luminous, carefully calculated patches; shadows are practically eliminated; and the depicted space is either extremely shallow or warped into a flatness that parallels the plane of the canvas and defies academic rules for perspective and foreshortening.
The total effect, although too intense and freehand to be merely decorative, may recall the patterns of the rugs, textiles, and ceramics of the Islamic world. The choice and treatment of subject matter imply optimism, hedonism, intelligence, a fastidious sensuality, and, in spite of the many studies of both clothed and unclothed women, scarcely a trace of conventional sentiment.
In he was represented by 13 pictures in the much-discussed, much-lambasted New York Armory Showand, when the exhibition arrived in Chicago, he was given some useful publicity by the burning—happily, merely in effigy—of his Blue Nude But middle agegrowing affluence, an established international reputation, the disruptions of World War I, and a distaste for public commotion gradually combined to isolate him from the centres of avant-gardism.
He began to winter on the French Riviera, and by the early s he was mostly a resident of Nice or its environs. His pictures became less daring in conception and less economical in means.
Like many of the painters and composers during these years notably Pablo Picasso and Igor StravinskyMatisse relaxed into a modernized sort of classicism.
Such typically Nice-period works as the Odalisque with Magnolias —24 and Decorative Figure on an Ornamental Background —26however, are masterpieces that deserve their popularity.Matisse worked on Back over the course of 23 years. With its various states, it is, as the artist’s daughter, Marguerite, suggested in , one sculpture that passed through several stages of evolution.
Matisse kept a plaster version of Back (IV) in his studio for the rest of his life, and it is visible in photographs with his late, monumental paper cutouts (below), which—like his works of –17—combine pictorial and sculptural characteristics.
Artwork page for ‘Back IV’, Henri Matisse, , cast on display at Tate Modern. The Backs were Matisse’s largest sculptures. Over twenty years he progressively refined the original pose, based on a woman leaning on a fence, until he achieved a massive simplicity.
Matisse’s decision to show the back view of a woman on such a monumental scale was unorthodox.
Henri Matisse The Back (III) Issy-les-Moulineaux, by May 13, - early fall So Matisse believed the sculptor should proceed, and the credo can be sensed in this work and throughout the group of four relief sculptures to which it belongs, with its progressive stability and simplicity.
Artwork page for ‘Back I’, Henri Matisse, c, cast The Backs were Matisse’s largest sculptures. Over twenty years he progressively refined the original pose, based on a woman leaning on a fence, until he achieved a massive simplicity. Matisse’s decision to show the back view of a woman on such a monumental scale was unorthodox.
Although Back I had been exhibited in , the series remained almost unknown until –50 when the plaster Backs I, III and IV appeared in exhibitions in Paris and Lausanne.
Back II was only rediscovered after Matisse’s death, while an even more naturalistic first version is now only known from a photograph.