Painter Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954) is one of the most prominent 20th century artists, best known as a founding member of the Fauvist movement, and for his modernist innovations in painting, sculpture, and his original cut-out papiers découpés. Matisse was born in Le Cateau-Cambrésis, France, and attended law school in Paris before studying art at the Académie Julian and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. While first painting in a naturalistic style, he created increasingly experimental works after studying the art of the Impressionists, becoming familiar with Pointillism and other post-Impressionist idioms that dominated artistic discourse at the turn of the century.

Attuned to African and “primitive” art, Matisse began painting using bold colors in broad, flat applications of paint with bold outlines, which developed into his mature Fauvist style in the mid-1900s. He exhibited his work at the Salon des Indépendants and the provocative 1913 Armory Show in New York, and his work was sought after early on by collectors including the famed Gertrude Stein. Between 1914 and 1918 his work became increasingly angular and abstracted, at times displaying abrupt changes from naturalism to abstraction in a single work, executed using muted colors; this change in style was believed to be reflective of his reaction to WWI. From the 1920s on, Matisse divided his time between Paris and southern France, painting works with loose, fluid forms, vibrant patterns, and bright colors, working in set design and sculpture in addition to painting. After two operations in the 1940s, Matisse began to focus on cut paper techniques in collages he called papiers découpés, a method used in his Jazz series, as well as in designs for several chapels. Held in high critical regard during his lifetime, a retrospective of Matisse’s work opened in 1951 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, traveling all over the United States. In 1952, the Musée Matisse opened in Matisse’s French hometown of Le Cateau-Cambrésis, two years before the artist’s death in 1954.

Timeline

1869
Born: Le Cateau-Cambrésis, France
1882–1887
Attended the College de Saint-Quentin and the Lycée Henri- Martin at Saint-Quentin, France
1887–1889
Studied law in Paris, France
1889
Studied drawing at the municipal Ecole Quentin de La Tour, a school of décorative arts, Saint-Quentin, France
1891
Studied at the Academy Julien with Gabriel Ferrier and Adolphe-W. Bouguereau
1892
Studied at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France
1895
Entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France
1896
Salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France
1905
Worked with André Derain in the little coastal town of Collioure, France
1927
Won first prize at Carnegie International in Pittsburgh, PA
1950
Won Grand Prize at the Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
1952
Matisse museum is inaugurated, Le Cateau-Cambresis, France
1954
Died:Cimiez, France

Exhibitions

2010
Les photographes de Matisse, nouvelles acquisitions, Les photographies de Matisse à Tahiti, Musée Henri Matisse, Nice, France (solo)
2009
Matisse – Rodin, un parcours sans fin, Musée Henri Matisse, Nice, France (solo)
L’objet dans l’œuvre de Matisse, Musée Henri Matisse, Nice, France (solo)
2008
Henri Matisse: Prints and Bronzes from the Etta and Claribel Cone Collection, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC (solo)
2007–2008
Matisse : en pensant à René Char, Musée Henri Matisse, Nice, France (solo)
2007
Matisse - Painter as Sculptor, The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD (solo)
Henri Matisse - Prints and Bronzes from the Permanent Collection, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC (solo)
Henri Matisse - The Thousand and One Nights, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburg, PA (solo)
Picasso & Matisse, Andipa Gallery, London, UK
2006
Picasso Matisse: Prints and Drawings, Andipa gallery, London, UK
La Danza delle Avanguardie, Museo d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Italy
Tapestries, Bass Museum of Art, Miami, FL
Matisse: A Figurative Femininity, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada (solo)
Stock 06/07/2006, Waddington Galleries, London, UK
Modern and Contemporary Masters, Richard Gray Gallery, New York, NY
French Master Drawings: From Manet and Degas to Matisse and Picasso, Statens museum for kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark
Matisse: Jazz, The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD (solo)
2005
MATISSE &, Statens museum for kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark (solo)
Henri Matisse: Une Seconde Vie, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, LA (solo)
Matisse, His Art and His Textiles: The Fabric of Dreams, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK (solo)
Hommage à Matisse, Artiscope, Brussels, Belgium (solo)
Henri Matisse: Prints and Bronzes from the Claribel and Etta Cone Collection, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC (solo)
Masterworks from The Phillips Collection, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
2004
Fauve Painting in the Permanent Collection, The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Renoir to Matisse: The Eye of Duncan Phillips, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Matisse, Picasso: Lithographs & Etchings, Catherine Hodgkinson, London, UK
The Pierre and Maria-Gaetana Matisse Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY (solo)
Henri Matisse, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC; John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA (solo)
2003
Henri Matisse, Institut Valencià d'Art Modern, Valencia, Spain (solo)
Henri Matisse: Prints and Bronzes, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC (solo)
Old Masters, Impressionists & Moderns: French Masterworks from the Pushkin Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Classic to Modern: French Works on Paper, 1800-1950, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Matisse: Papiers découpés, Sammlung Berggruen, Berlin, Germany (solo)
Voyage into Myth: Gauguin to Matisse, Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, Quebec, Canada
Masterworks from El Greco to Picasso in The Phillips Collection, Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ
2002
Henri Matisse. Mit der Schere zeichnen, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt/Main, Gremany (solo)
Millet to Matisse, Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY
Modigliani & the Artists of Montparnasse, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Gauguin to Matisse: French Masterpieces from Russias Hermitage Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada
Henri Matisse, Museo Guggenheim de Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo, Bilbao, Spain; Galerie Thomas, Munich, Germany (solo)
From Puvis de Chavannes to Matisse and Picasso, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy
Matisse and Belfast, Ulster Museum, Belfast, Ireland (solo)
Henri Matisse/Ellsworth Kelly: dessins de plantes, Centre Pompidou, Musée National d´Art Moderne, Paris, France
2001
The Kindness of Friends: A Selection of Gifts of Drawings and Prints, 1919-2000, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
A Century of Drawing: Works on Paper from Degas to LeWitt, The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Matisse: Espíritu y Sentido, Fundación Juan March, Madrid, Spain (solo)
Neo-Impressionism: The Circle of Paul Signac, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Grands maîtres des XIXe et XXe siècles, Galerie Schmit, Paris, France
The Global Guggenheim: Selections from the Extended Collection, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
2000
Master-Prints, Fischer Kunsthandel & Edition, Berlin, Germany
Matisse: The Art of Drawing, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia (solo)
Matisse from The Baltimore Museum of Art, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada; Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO (solo)
Face to Face: Artists & Their Work, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA
Painters in Paris: 1895-1950, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

1999
Matisse and Picasso, Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, TX
The Elise S. Haas Collection - Matisse and Other Modern masters, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA
Do impresionismo ao Fauvismo. Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, CGAC - Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
1998
Recent Acquisitions and New Work, Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle, WA
Von Matisse bis Dali. Die Kunst zu Sammeln - Das Legat Georges F. Keller, Kunstmuseum Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Au fil du trait : de Matisse à Basquiat - Carré d´art, Musée d´art contemporain de Nîmes, Nîmes, France
The Origins of Modern Art in France - 1880-1939, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
Master Drawings of the Twentieth Century, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York, NY
Artists and Subjects: Picasso to Stella, MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
1997
L'última mirada, Museu d´Art Contemporani de Barcelona - MACBA, Barcelona, Spain
Encounters With Modern Art: Works from the Rothschild Family Collections, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA
Etchings of the Twentieth Century, Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Objects of Desire: The Modern Still Life, MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY
1996
Master Classes: What classifies an artist as a Master, Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle, WA
Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Museum, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
Manet bis Van Gogh - Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany
1993
Modern Masters and the Figure: Picasso to de Kooning - Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA
1987
The Window in Twentieth-Century Art - Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX
1985
Les vingt ans du Musée à travers sa collection, Musée d´art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal, Canada
1981
Medio Siglo de Escultura: 1900-1945, Fundación Juan March, Madrid, Spain (solo)
1966
Matisse und seine Freunde – les Fauves - Kunstverein in Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
1953
Berggruen et Cie, Paris, France (solo)
Retrospective, The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, Denmark (solo)
1951
Retrospective, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (solo)
1949
Pierre Matisse gallery, New York, NY
Musée National d' Art Moderne, Paris, France (solo)
1948
Retrospective, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA (solo)
1945
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK
Retrospective, Salon d' Automne, Paris, France (solo)
Galerie Maeght, Paris, France
1936
Paul Rosenberg Gallery, Paris, France
1931
Retrospective, Galeries Georges Petit, Paris, France (solo)
Kunsthalle, Basel, Switzerland
The Museum of Modem Art, New York, NY
1930
Retrospective, Thannhauser Gallery, Berlin, Germany (solo)
1927
Valentine Dudensing Gallery, New York, NY
1924
Retrospective, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, Denmark (solo)
Retrospective, Bernheim-Jeune Gallery, Paris, France (solo)
1921
Bernheim-Jeune Gallery, Paris, France
1920
Bernheim-Jeune Gallery, Paris, France
1919
Leicester Galleries, London, UK
Bernheim-Jeune Gallery, Paris, France (solo)
1915
Montross Gallery, New York, NY
1914
Gurlitt Gallery, Berlin, Germany
1913
Armory Show, New York, NY
Bernheim-Jeune Gallery, Paris, France (solo)
1910
Bernheim-Jeune Gallery, Paris, France (solo)
291 gallery, New York, NY
1908
291 gallery, New York, NY
Salon d' Automne, Paris, France
1906
Galerie Druet, Paris, France (solo)
Salon des Indépendants, Paris, France
1905
Salon des Indépendants, Paris, France
1903
Salon d' Automne, Paris, France
1902
Berthe Weill Gallery, Paris, France
1901
Salon des Indépendants, Paris, France
1897
Salon of the Nationale, Paris, France
1896
Salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France

Literature

2006
Wright, Alastair. Matisse and the Subject of Modernism Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2006
2005
Spurling, Hilary. Matisse the Master: A Life of Henri Matisse, Vol. 2, The Conquest of Colour 1909 - 1954. London, Hamish Hamilton Ltd, 2005
1998
Spurling, Hilary Spurling. The Unknown Matisse: A Life of Henri Matisse, Vol. 1, 1869-1908. London, Hamish Hamilton Ltd, 1998
1984
Schneider, Pierre. Matisse. New York, Rizzoli, 1984
1979
Gowing, Lawrence. Matisse. New York, Oxford University Press, 1979