Henri Matisse (1869-1954) is without doubt the most important twentieth-century French artist, and one of the great colorists of art history. His work utterly refutes the cliche that the great discoveries of Modernism were attained by a heroic and violent abandonment of the past: he was firmly grounded in tradition (albeit in a much less restless and ironic approach than Picasso's). In the 1920s, Matisse's odalisques responded to European fantasies of "Oriental splendor"; during the 1930s, more classical themes of nymphs, fauns and the dance were treated in the splendid and sober Barnes murals, illustrations to Mallarme and James Joyce. Permanently confined to a wheelchair from 1941 (when cancer was diagnosed), he developed his most spiritually uplifting work for the interior design of the Dominican Chapel of the Rosary at Vence, concurrent with his famous paper cut-outs ("cutting directly into color"). Sarah Wilson of the Courtauld Institute provides an introduction to Poligrafa's primer on this Modernist giant.
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Alfred Barnes Apocalypse Aragon artists background ballet Barnes murals Bathers Bernheim-Jeune Biskra Blue Nude Bonheur de Vivre Calme et Volupte Centre Georges Pompidou Cezanne Cezanne's Collioure colour commission Communist composition contemporary Cubism cutouts Dance decorative Delacroix Derain drawings Dufy Exposition fauve Fauvism female figures flat France French Gallery Gouache on paper Green Line Gustave Moreau Henri Matisse Hermitage Museum illustrations Ingres Interior Jazz lithographs Louis Aragon Luxe Lydia Delectorskaya Madame Matisse Manet Marcel Sembat Marquet Matisse exhibited Matisse's Modern Art MoMA motif Musee Matisse Musee National d'Art Museum of Modern Music National d'Art Moderne Nice Nymph Odalisque Oil on canvas oriental painter painting paper cut-outs Paris Petit Palais Picasso picture Pierre pink poem Portrait of Madame Private collection published recalled retrospective Rodin Saint Sever Salon d'Automne Salon des Independants sculpture Shchukin Signac socialist symbolised tapestry theme Vence Chapel window Woman York