Date: French painter, sculptor, and printmaker, 1869–1954
Biography: Henri Matisse was born on December 31, 1869 in Bohain-en-Vermandois in northern France. As a young man Matisse studied for a law degree in Paris in 1887-89. At 21, Matisse began painting while recuperating from an illness. In 1891 he moved to Paris, studying at the Académie Julian and the École des Beaux-Arts. He began to show his work in large group exhibitions in Paris in the mid-1890s, including the traditional Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. By the turn of the 20th century, Matisse had come under the more progressive influence of Georges Seurat and Paul Signac and began submitting his art to the more progressive Salon des Indépendants in 1901. In 1904 he had his first one-man exhibition at the gallery of dealer Ambroise Vollard. A visit to Saint-Tropez in southern France inspired him to paint brighten his color palette. These new works were exhibited at the 1905 Salon d’Automne where he and a group of similarly colorful artists were nicknamed “fauves,” or “wild beasts.” Matisse also made sculptures and drawings that were sometimes related to his paintings, always repeating and simplifying his forms to their essence.