5 works by Henri Matisse I admire the most.
Henri Matisse was born on December 31, 1869, in Le Cateau, Picardy, France. He was the leader of the Fauvist movement about 1900, and he pursued the expressiveness of color throughout his career. His subjects were largely domestic or figurative, and a distinct Mediterranean verve presides in the treatment.
Matisse's parents were in the grain business, and he displayed little interest in art until he was 20 years old. From 1882 to 1887, he attended the secondary school in Saint-Quentin; after a year of legal studies in Paris, he returned to Saint-Quentin and became a clerk in a law office. He began to sit in on an early-morning drawing class at the local École Quentin-Latour, and, in 1890, while recovering from a severe attack of appendicitis, he began to paint, at first copying the colored reproductions in a box of oils his mother had given him. Soon he was decorating the home of his grandparents at Le Cateau. In 1891, he abandoned the law and returned to Paris to become a professional artist.
Woman with a Hat（La femme au chapeau）is the 1905 oil painting by Henri Matisse showing the woman Matisse's wife, Amelie.
At the time of its completion, the painting was considered to be an example of Matisse's fauvist style. The painting was exhibited at the Salon d'Automne in 1905, alongside other fauvist works.
The French art critic Louis Vauxelles was one of the first to comment on the painting, calling it "Donatello chez les fauves" in an October 17, 1905 issue of Gil Bias. This comment later led to the coining of the term "fauvism".
Despite some negative reactions from other critics, Matisse's painting was well-received by the public. In fact, it was so popular that it was purchased by Leo and Gertrude Stein. This was a huge encouragement to Matisse, considering how difficult it was to sell a painting at the time.
This painting features a lady with a dignified posture and expression. The colors and overall composition give a feeling of emotion, while the choice of colors suggests that the artist wants to express more than just reality. The combination of two elements that should be in conflict makes me feel that the artist is bringing real people into the world of the painting.
Luxe, Calme et Volupté , is an oil painting . Both foundational in the oeuvre of Matisse and a pivotal work in the history of art,it is considered the starting point of Fauvism. This painting is a dynamic and vibrant work created early on in his career as a painter.It displays an evolution of the Neo-Impressionist style mixed with a new conceptual meaning based in fantasy and leisure that had not been seen in works before.
The painting features a seascape with a group of nude women in the foreground. Though the women are nude, they are not sexualized in any way. Instead, they are shown in a state of complete repose, lounging on the beach or floating in the water. The overall effect is one of serenity and luxury.The painting has been interpreted in a number of ways.
Some scholars suggest that it is a commentary on the decadence of the French bourgeoisie. Others interpret it as a work of pure fantasy, with no specific meaning or message. Regardless of its interpretation, the painting is considered a masterpiece of early 20th-century art.
The original high-end tableware should be placed on the elegant and noble table, but it is placed on the carpet, and the surrounding women show the most primitive posture , enjoy a picnic on the river bank. The sky is presented in light colors, and the shore is presented in a more conspicuous contrasting color, so that the viewer's eyes naturally give priority to the characters and scenes on the shore.
Such as the title, luxurious, peaceful, but enjoyable.
The Joy of Life(Le Bonheur de Vivre) , is a large-scale painting measuring nearly 6 feet in height and 8 feet in width. The painting depicts an idyllic Arcadian landscape, with forests, meadows, seas and skies that are filled with brilliantly colored imagery.
Nude figures are featured throughout the painting, both at rest and in motion, adding to the sense of joy and vitality conveyed in the work. As with the earlier Fauve canvases, color is used in Bonheur de Vivre solely to express emotion and to fulfill the formal needs of the painting, rather than to accurately depict the colors of nature.
There are numerous references to other works of art in the painting, but in terms of form and date, Bonheur de Vivre is most similar to Cézanne's last great painting of bathers.
The painting uses a watercolor technique which gives people the feeling of painting watercolors when they were a kid. With instinct and no extra thought, they let their hands and hearts graffiti. The atmosphere of the whole painting is also the same. Behaviors show the most primitive instinct, which is the so-called joy of life.
Bathers by a River , one of the five most "pivotal" works of his career, and with good reason: it facilitated the evolution of the artist's style over the course of nearly a decade. Originally, the work was related to a 1909 commission by the Russian collector Sergei Shchukin, who wanted two large canvases to decorate the staircase of his Moscow home. Matisse proposed three pastoral images, though Shchukin decided to purchase only two works, Dance and Music.
Four years later, Matisse returned to this canvas, the rejected third image, altering the idyllic scene and changing the pastel palette to reflect his new interest in Cubism. He reordered the composition, making the figures more columnar, with faceless, ovoid heads. Over the next years, Matisse transformed the background into four vertical bands and turned the formerly blue river into a thick black vertical band.
With its restricted palette and severely abstracted forms, Bathers by a River is far removed from The Dance and Music, which convey a graceful lyricism. The sobriety and hint of danger in Bathers by a River may in part reflect the artist's concerns during the terrible, war torn period during which he completed it.
This painting style is different from other works. It gives people a sense of resistance, which is both silent and witty. The characters are painted with colors that have a lower chroma, creating a flat work. However, because of the relative position and size of the characters, the painting expresses a three-dimensional sense of space. Even though the characters have no facial expressions, they use colors to distinguish the space. The figures in the green area look more comfortable, while the figures in the black and white space look restrained, as if they are being restricted by something, giving the viewer a feeling of depression.
The sword swallower , from the illustrated book Jazz 1947, is one of the most famous graphic works and arguably one of the best loved artworks of the 20th century. In Matisse’s first major ‘cut-out’ project, realism and abstraction are finally reconciled at the end of a life-long tension. With the cut-out technique, Matisse felt he had finally solved the problems of form and space, outline and colour. ‘It is not a beginning, it is an endpoint’, the artist stated.
The compositions selected for Jazz were entrusted to the colour specialist Edmond Vairel to be turned into stencils. These were then printed with the same vivid gouaches used by Matisse. The cover and manuscript pages were printed separately by Draeger Frères in Paris. Jazz was published by Tériade in an edition of 250.
The book’s title evokes the idea of a musical structure of rhythm and repetition, expressed through the handwritten text, which is broken by the explosive improvisations of the colour plates. Matisse’s subjects are taken largely from the circus, mythology and memories of his travels. They represent either isolated figures or paired forms that suggest a dialogue between artist and model. Despite the vivid colours and folkloric themes, few of the plates are actually cheerful. Several are among Matisse’s most ominous images.
Jazz represents one of Matisse’s most interesting statements about his artistic development and the act of creation, which he believed results from the synthesis of instinct and intellect guided by discipline.