Matisse, Henri (1869–1954) [REVISED AND EXPANDED] By Kolokytha, Chara
Henri Matisse is the key figure, together with Picasso, in French Modernism and the most influential colourist of the 20th century. Matisse initially studied law in Paris from 1887 to 1888 and subsequently worked as a clerk in Saint-Quentin. In 1890, to his father’s disappointment, he became interested in painting. Between 1891 and 1892 Matisse studied painting in Paris at the Académie Julian under W.A. Bouguereau, at the École des Beaux Arts under Gustave Moreau and at the École des Arts Décoratifs. Influenced by the impressionists, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, and Paul Gauguin, Matisse began to take non-naturalist colouration to new extremes. His works, which include paintings, sculptures, and prints, can be found in museums around the world, including the Museum Matisse in Nice (where he died) and at his birthplace, Le Cateau-Cambrésis, where primarily his art is on display.