Artist Henri Matisse

About Henri Matisse

Henri Émile Benoît Matisse was a French artist, known for both his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter.

He is commonly regarded as the co-founder of Fauvism, a revolutionary movement emphasizing painterly qualities and strong colour over realistic values retained by Impressionism. 

After 3 years and 3 exhibitions later, Matisse abandoned Fauvist three-dimensional effects in favour of dramatically simplified areas of pure colour, flat shape and strong pattern. 

  • Matisse began his art career painting still lifes and landscapes in traditional Impressionism style.
  • He is famous as a master of supreme decoration and expressive use of colour, painting domestic and figurative subjects into abstract cut-outs.
  • In his later years, Matisse moved into a period of selfless invention, creating his cut-outs carved in coloured paper and sometimes collaged into vast pictures.
  • The art world's greatest rivalry was the intense friendship and competition between Matisse and Pablo Picasso.