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.