Born Henri-Émile-Benoît Matisse on December 31, 1869 in Le Cateau-Cambrésis, France, he took to art relatively late in life after initially pursuing law. First studying painting under Gustave Moreau at the École des Beaux-Arts, he quickly adopted the Pointillist ideas espoused by Georges Seurat and Paul Signac. With Pointillism as a point of departure, Matisse along with Albert Marquet and André Derain, developed a radical method of using pure color to express light, in what became known as Fauvism. Matisse would return to a style which incorporated both naturalistic and decorative elements, as evinced in his painting Goldfish (1911). In the decades that followed, the artist spent much of his time in the South of France, painting models dressed as odalisques and ocean views from his hotel room. Late in his career, while bedridden, Matisse produced a number of cutout paper works, including Blue Nude II (1952). The artist died on November 3, 1954 in Nice, France. Today, his works are held in the collections of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the National Gallery in London, among others.
Courtesy of artnet.com