Henri Matisse (1869-1954) settled in the south of France in 1914, his work concentrates on designs that emphasize curvaceous surface patterns, linear arabesques, and brilliant colour.
Subjects include odalisques (women of the harem), bathers, and dancers; later works include pure abstracts, as in his collages of coloured paper shapes and the designs (1949-1951) for the decoration of a chapel for the Dominican convent in Vence, near Nice.
Matisse was one of the most original creative forces in early 20th-century art. In 1904 he worked with Signac in the south of France in a Neo-impressionist style. The following year he was the foremost of the Fauve painters exhibiting at the Salon d'Automne, painting with bold brushstrokes, heavy impasto, and strong colours (a critic called their exhibition gallery "une cage aux fauves" - a cage of wild beasts).
He soon abandoned conventional perspective in his continued experiments with colour, and in 1910 an exhibition of Islamic art further influenced him towards the decorative. His murals of The Dance (1932-1933) (Barnes Foundation, Merion, Pennsylvania) are characteristic.
Why is Henri Matisse famous?
Henri Matisse was a French painter, sculptor, illustrator, and designer.