The paper cutouts of Henri Matisse’s “Blue Nude” series were part of his abstractionism period, and were created near the end of his prolific life. Matisse (1869 – 1954), who left law studies for art, and Pablo Picasso, were the 20th century’s most influential artists. Originally viewed as a Fauvist, Matisse’s huge stylistic range included primitive art, impressionism, sculpture and abstraction. He was best known for his highly original and emotional use of radiant color and ornamentation. Matisse was one of the few artists appreciated during his lifetime by collectors and critics, and influencing aspiring young artists.
French painter Henri Matisse (1869 – 1954) expressed joy through patterns, ornamentation and vivid colors. Given a paint set while recovering from an illness, Matisse described his discovery of art as “a kind of paradise.” Originally labeled a Fauvist, he produced early works that were remarkably mature. After seeing Impressionist and Japanese art, Matisse made color instrumental to his work, and experimented with expressive abstraction. He also decorated the Dominican nuns’ chapel at Vence, France when he was almost 80. Matisse, who was often nervous, relieved his tension through painting.