Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Matisse, Henri

Le bonheur de vivre (The Joy of Life)
Oil on canvas
175 x 241 cm (69 1/8 x 94 7/8 in)
Barnes Foundation, Merion, PA

Henri Matisse (1869 – 1954) was a French artist. Matisse loved pattern, and pattern within pattern: not only the suave and decorative forms of his own compositions but also the reproduction of tapestries, embroideries, silks, striped awnings, curlicues, mottles, dots, and spots, the bright clutter of over-furnished rooms, within the painting. In particular he loved Islamic art. Islamic pattern offers the illusion of a completely full world, where everything from far to near is pressed with equal urgency against the eye. Matisse admired that, and wanted to transpose it into terms of pure color.
Picasso destroyed his fear of women in his art, while Matisse coaxed his nervous tension into serenity.
"Instinct must be thwarted just as one prunes the branches of a tree so that it will grow better."(Henri Matisse)