Henri Matisse's spectacular career spanned over half a century and saw the artist embrace three distinct artistic styles. Early on Matisse was influenced by the Impressionist movement, following this he became leading figure of Fauvism. In the final chapter of his career, which lasted up until his death, Matisse produced an impressive collection of paper collages known as the Cut-outs.
Matisse (1869-1954) was initially influence by the works of earlier masters and produced still-lives and landscapes in the traditional Flemish style. By 1896 he was introduced to Post- Impressionism through the work of Van Gogh and was opened up to colour theory. This changed Matisse's style drastically; he moved away from dark traditional paintings and embraced the use of colour and light.
Fauvism was the next big chapter of Matisse's career; this style began around 1900 and was adopted by the artist for many years. As a leader of this new group of artists, Matisse and the Fauves used bold colours to represent emotions will little regard for the natural colours of their subjects. Despite receiving heavy critique and being a short lived art movement with only three exhibitions, Fauvism established Matisse as a key artist of the 20th century and is regarded as an important and exciting development in modern art.
In the 1940s following surgery which left him unable to paint, Matisse began to experiment with paper collages. The Cut-outs include famous pieces such as 'The Snail' and his collection of 'Blue Nudes' which perfectly illustrate what Matisse referred to as 'painting with scissors.'
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