May – Henri Matisse
Born in northern France, Henri went to school in Paris and became a law clerk there. In 1888 he became ill with appendicitis and had to go home to recover and feel better.
While he was resting his Mother gave him some art supplies to pass the time. He fell in love with painting and art.
He went back to Paris to study art. He was introduced to impressionism and the art of Vincent Van Gogh. It opened up a new world to Matisse.
In the early 1900s Matisse discovered a new style of painting. He began to paint with bright masses of colors that were freely applied. He used colors to express emotion. Often the colors did not represent the colors of the natural world.
In 1905 Matisse and a few other artists showed their new style to the World. One critic called them “fauves” which in French means wild beasts. The name stuck and their style of art was called Fauvisim.
In later years Matisse began to experiment with “cutouts”. He would cut colored paper and make collages. He made a book of these cutouts called Jazz that was very popular. Some of his cutouts have become very famous works of art.
Matisse is considered one of the founders of Fauvism art. He is also considered one of the leading figures of Modern art as his paintings and art influenced many artists throughout the 20th century.