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If you are looking for creative inspiration, no need to look further than the artistic production of Henri Matisse, one of the great masters of modern art.
His early works demonstrate that Matisse was inspired by several artists - Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Rodin - although if there was one painter who could get the lion's share, it would be Cézanne. His sensitivity to colors and Cézanne's compositional skills would inspire Matisse enormously over the years. Most of his early paintings show a divisionist style, consisting of brushstrokes of colors, which let them blend together when one observes the work. The work is also largely form-oriented and unreserved and conventional in color and subject matter.
In April 1906, Matisse met Pablo Picasso, who would become a friend and an opponent in art. We often compared the two. Unlike Picasso, Matisse painted more often from natural models and his figures were painted in simple settings. Matisse came to teach at the Académie Matisse in Paris, funded by wealthy friends, from 1907 to 11. He also became close to Gertrude Stein and her entourage.
The Fauvist period lasted just over a decade and reached its peak from 1904 to 1908 with three exhibitions that put its leaders, including Matisse, ahead of the public eye. The Fauvist style was known for its wild and uncontrolled colors which had no basis in nature. The application of paint was considered raw and unrefined, the work of "wild beasts", from which the term Fauvism derives.
Matisse's work in the 1910s focused on bright, expressive colors and color schemes with particular attention to line. When Fauvism wore off, it long ago emerged from it, continuing to soak up the visual language of primitivism and African art, and traveling far and wide - from Algiers to Spain and Morocco. In many places his art is well received. The art critic Guillaume Apollinaire describes his work as “eminently reasonable” and it is part of the great artistic movement of the time in Paris. Many of his most famous works were produced around this time. But alongside painting masterpieces like La Danse, Matisse was also forced to face critical contempt, the difficulty of selling his work, and at the Chicago Armory Show in 1913, he saw his painting burnt. , Blue nude, in protest.
In 1917, Matisse moved his house to Nice on the French Riviera. Like many post-war artists, Matisse recoils from extremism. He found solace, it seems, in more relaxed and softer subjects and performances. Some critics have called the works of this period decorative and superficial, but Matisse was not the only one - this withdrawal was a phenomenon observed in many artists of this period, including Picasso and Stravinsky.
In the 1920s, Matisse re-engaged with the art world as a whole, creating numerous works in collaboration with artists from all over the world. The 30s brought a renewed commitment and daring to his work. Large Reclining Nude was created and indicates where the next big thing for Matisse is headed: streamlined shapes and cutouts.
Matisse could have fled France at the start of WWII, but chose to stay, and as a non-Jewish citizen he was able to do so relatively safely. “It seemed to me that I was going to desert,” he wrote to his son Pierre in September 1940. “If all those who are valuable leave France, what remains of France?” Matisse a continued to make art and surprisingly was able to exhibit his work during this time.He also worked as a graphic designer, making black and white book illustrations and hundreds of lithographs.
At the beginning of the 40s, after a surgical operation, Matisse again discovered the love of a recovering art. This time, with paper and scissors, creating cutouts and collages that would end up completely replacing painting for the artist. These started out on a small scale, but ended up taking up entire rooms as life-size cut-out murals. Matisse finished his last painting in 1951 and the cutouts were the last works of art he ever made.
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