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Henri Matisse

  • French artist
  • Born December 31, 1869
  • Died November 3, 1954

Henri Émile Benoît Matisse (French: [ɑ̃ʁi emil bənwɑ matis]; 31 December 1869 – 3 November 1954) was a French artist, known for both his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter. Matisse is commonly regarded, along with Pablo Picasso, as one of the artists who best helped to define the revolutionary developments in the visual arts throughout the opening decades of the twentieth century, responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture.The intense colorism of the works he painted between 1900 and 1905 brought him notoriety as one of the Fauves (wild beasts).


Impressionism is the newspaper of the soul.

Impressionism is the newspaper of the soul.




In love, the one who runs away is the winner.




You study, you learn, but you guard the original naivete. It has to be within you, as desire for drink is within the drunkard or love is within the lover.




Exactitude is not truth.

Exactitude is not truth.




I do not literally paint that table, but the emotion it produces upon me.




I have always tried to hide my efforts and wished my works to have a light joyousness of springtime which never lets anyone suspect the labors it has cost me.




A picture must possess a real power to generate light and for a long time now I've been conscious of expressing myself through light or rather in light.




I'm growing old, I delight in the past.




There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose, because before he can do so he has first to forget all the roses that were ever painted.




Creativity takes courage.




Cutting into color reminds me of the sculptor's direct carving.




An artist must possess Nature. He must identify himself with her rhythm, by efforts that will prepare the mastery which will later enable him to express himself in his own language.




In the beginning you must subject yourself to the influence of nature. You must be able to walk firmly on the ground before you start walking on a tightrope.




An artist must never be a prisoner. Prisoner? An artist should never be a prisoner of himself, prisoner of style, prisoner of reputation, prisoner of success, etc.




Derive happiness in oneself from a good day's work, from illuminating the fog that surrounds us.




My curves are not crazy.

My curves are not crazy.




It has bothered me all my life that I do not paint like everybody else.




What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter - a soothing, calming influence on the mind, rather like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.




Drawing is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence.




I don't paint things. I only paint the difference between things.




I would like to recapture that freshness of vision which is characteristic of extreme youth when all the world is new to it.




Time extracts various values from a painter's work. When these values are exhausted the pictures are forgotten, and the more a picture has to give, the greater it is.




There are always flowers for those who want to see them.

There are always flowers for those who want to see them.




With color one obtains an energy that seems to stem from witchcraft.




Jazz is rhythm and meaning.




He who loves, flies, runs, and rejoices; he is free and nothing holds him back.




I have been no more than a medium, as it were.




It is only after years of preparation that the young artist should touch color - not color used descriptively, that is, but as a means of personal expression.




A young woman has young claws, well sharpened. If she has character, that is. And if she hasn't so much the worse for you.




Instinct must be thwarted just as one prunes the branches of a tree so that it will grow better.




I don't know whether I believe in God or not. I think, really, I'm some sort of Buddhist. But the essential thing is to put oneself in a frame of mind which is close to that of prayer.




Work cures everything.




I wouldn't mind turning into a vermilion goldfish.



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