Artist Henri Matisse

"With Picasso, Henri Matisse is perhaps the most influential artist of this century. At the turn of the century, Matisse became the most prominent artist of the avant-garde Fauve Movement, the members of which painted in such broad brushstrokes, startling and bright colours and audacious forms that they were likened to ""fauves"", or wild animals amongst their more conventional contemporaries. The movement laid the way for much of the freedom of expression which characterised twentieth century art. Born in 1869, Henri Matisse became a pupil of Bouguereau in 1892. He also studied under Gustav Moreau and was acquainted with Camoin, Rouault and Pioute. He was strongly influenced by Impressionism and by the work of Cezanne and Matisse also collaborated with Bonnard and Vuillard. A stay in the South of France in 1905 inspired the train of thought that lead to the explosion of colour of the Fauve movement. However, the general response was not favourable and Matisse was fortunate to acquire a number of patrons who protected and encouraged him. Sadly, after all his years of preparation for the leadership of modern painting, Matisse found himself slightly marginalised when Picasso appeared on the scene and assumed nominal leadership of the modern art movement. Matisse then travelled widely in Europe and South America and also visited America and Oceania. His position as a father of modern art secure, Matisse spent the last years of his life on the Riviera. He died in 1954."

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