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Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954)
Also known as: Matisse, Henri Emile Benoit; Matisse, Henri Emile BenoîtBirth Place: Le Cateau-Cambrésis (Nord, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France)
As the father of Fauvism, Henri Matisse altered the trajectory of art history by extending the modern trends started by the impressionists, post-impressionists, and pointillists. Matisse was originally trained in the academic tradition, and much of his education consisted of drawing from plaster casts and nude models, copying pieces at the Louvre, and participating in nationally endorsed exhibitions such as the Salon de La Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. However, Matisse was exposed to the works of the impressionists, post-impressionists, and pointillists while studying in Paris, and these pieces inspired Matisse to rebel against the academic tradition. He shifted his interest from realistically depicting space to portraying emotion, and he began to utilize bright colors, a flat pictorial space, strong lines, and limited detail. Matisse began submitting to private, progressive exhibitions such as the Salon Des Independent in 1901, and the public responded violently to his controversial works, nicknaming Matisse and his contemporaries, “Les Fauves”, or “the wild beasts”, which then inspired the name for the Fauvism movement. Later in Matisse’s career he became interested in the exotic, and took trips to Morocco, the evidence of which can be found in the exotic dress of figures in his later works.
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