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8 Amazing Facts About Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse, who is one of the best painters of the 20th century and also called the master of the color red, has shaped modern art to a great extent. Throughout his career, he has frequently experimented with different media, styles, and art movements, influenced by the artists around him. One of his most famous works, Woman With A Hat (1905) is an important example of the Fauvist movement in French art. Now, we leave you alone with the content of “8 Amazing Facts About Henri Matisse” so that you can get to know Henri Matisse better.


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8 Amazing Facts About Henri Matisse

Woman With A Hat, 1905 by Henri Matisse | 8 Amazing Facts About Henri Matisse



8 Things You Need To Know About Henri Matisse


1- Henri Matisse Studied Law and Worked as a Clerk.

Although Henri Matisse is known for his artistic mastery, he was originally a candidate to become a lawyer. He studied law, worked as a clerk (law intern) in a law firm. He attended drawing classes before heading to the office in the morning.

Matisse’s parents were hard-working people who ran a store and seed supply business in the small French town of Bohain. They planned for their eldest son, Henri to take over the business when he became an adult.

But soon his family realized that Henri Matisse, who was trying to follow his dreams, was not suitable for the job.



2- His Passion for Art Started in the Hospital Room.

Henri Matisse suffered from appendicitis when he was young, and it changed the course of his life.


8 Amazing Facts About Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse (December 31, 1869- November 3, 1954) | 8 Amazing Facts About Henri Matisse (Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images)


He was confined to bed for months after his surgery. The long recovery period bothered him so much that; his mother gave him a box of paint to lift his spirits. It was this pivotal moment that helped him discover his passion for art.

He loved the freedom it gave him.

“From the moment I held the box of colors in my hands, I knew this was my life. I threw myself into it like a beast that plunges towards the thing it loves,” he said.

After leaving his job and defying her father’s wish to take over the business, he moved to Paris to pursue the arts fully.



3- Two Good Friends: Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.

Henri Matisse, the pioneer of the Fauvism movement, and Pablo Picasso, the pioneer of the Cubism movement, first met at a meeting in the salon of the American novelist and art collector Gertrude Stein, who supported them both of their careers.


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8 Amazing Facts About Henri Matisse

Portrait of Gertrude Stein by Pablo Picasso (1905-6) | 8 Amazing Facts About Henri Matisse


They initially disliked each other, but respected each other as artists and became lifelong friends despite their competitive natures.

“No one has ever looked at Matisse’s paintings more carefully than I; and no one has looked at mine more carefully than he,” Picasso once said.



4- Henri Matisse and His Wife Amelie Have Always Intertwined Their Personal and Professional Relationships.

Henri Matisse married Amelie Parayre, the unconventional daughter of a liberal schoolteacher, in 1898.


8 Amazing Facts About Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse was trying to find his own style in painting. She made this breakthrough with the Portrait of Madame Matisse, which shows Amile in a reddish-pink dress, which she made in 1905, with a green line stretching from her forehead to her chin, in front of the green, red, and magenta blocks. | The Green Line | 8 Amazing Facts About Henri Matisse


As Matisse’s reputation for wildly innovative painting grew, Amélie became her artistic muse, model, and business manager.

In 1935, Matisse hired a Russian refugee named Lydia Delectorskaya as a model, and they shared a deep understanding of Matisse’s art. Amelie was jealous of this partnership and the Matisses broke up in July 1939.

After a short break, Delectorskaya returned to Matisse and worked for him until his death.



5- Henri Matisse – The Wild Beast of Fauvism

The “Fauve” as his rivals call him “wild beast”. This nickname was given to him because he used bright colors and unusual shapes like never before.

It was normal for those who heard this nickname to imagine the man they would meet as a goatee-bearded madman, but Henri Matisse was far from their dreams, a smiling gentleman wearing a dress meticulously sewn by a tailor.


8 Amazing Facts About Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse, 1939 | 8 Things You Need To Know About Henri Matisse


Those who witnessed this state of Henri Matisse were astonished to tell them that he was more of a gentleman than a wild animal.

In fact, his painting was not as brutal as his enemies had described. Matisse sought, above all, tranquility, a refuge from the troubles of the world. Few art lovers in his era could perceive this tranquility. The general view was that art compels the audience.



6- Having Cancer Enabled Him To Develop Another Technique: Painting With Scissors.

Henri Matisse’s surgery for abdominal cancer in 1941 affected his mobility, and he did not last long afterward.

However, his art entered a bright new phase during his recovery. Matisse developed the technique of “painting with scissors”, in which he cuts painted paper into shapes and placed them on his walls.



7- Henri Matisse’s Final Work was Stained Glass Design.

The last work Henri Matisse completed before he died in 1954 was La Rosacea, a circular stained glass window.

Future New York governor Nelson Rockefeller commissioned a monument to Matisse’s mother, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, who was a big fan and patron of the arts. “Nothing would have pleased mother more,” he told a colleague.


La Serpentine, Issy-les-Moulineaux, 1909 by Henri Matisse | Gifted to Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. | 8 Interesting Facts About Henri Matisse


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8- Henri Matisse’s Daughter Has Created A Comprehensive Catalogue Of His Works.

Matisse’s daughter from model Caroline Joblaud, Marguerite Duthuit, was born four years before he married Amélie and modeled for her for several decades. Marguerite Matisse was her father’s favorite model during her childhood and teenage years.


Marguerite Wearing a Hat, 1918 by Henri Matisse | Marguerite Matisse was her father’s favorite model from her childhood. | 8 Amazing Facts About Henri Matisse


She also served as her father’s assistant and archivist.

After his death, Marguerite compiled the definitive record of Matisse’s artistic process and a catalog of his paintings. She was working on the final stages of the catalog when she died of a heart attack at the age of 87.








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