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June 16, 2011

Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse was born in Le Chateau, in the north of France. His plans to enter the law profession were interrupted by an attack of appendicitis. During a long recovery period, his mother bought him some paint and brushes. He was twenty-two when he arrived in Paris. As Matisse was leaving for Paris, his father yelled at him that he would starve. Matisse 's early paintings were dark, naturalistic works, but by 1896 he had taken up Neo-Impressionist techniques, working in light color and short strokes. By 1905, he was the leader of the Fauvist movement, and by 1908 he had embarked on the course that was to influence all contemporary painting since that date: an exploration of the possibilities of painting as a decorative and sensuous art. By 1918, he had a worldwide reputation. His last great public work was the complete decoration-stained glass, furniture, murals, and chasubles-for the Dominican Chapel in Vence. Despite ill health and being bed-ridden, Matisse continued to create; cutting out large pieces of colorful paper to make designs. Matisse died in Vence, in the south of France, in 1954.

Matisse became a success despite his fathers' warnings. Sometimes in life, we must overcome things, people. There are always those that seek to bring us down or keep us there. However instead of drowning in this negativity, we should be like the tiny leaf that rides the river; floating on top above it all.