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Henri Matisse Gallery     Prints.     Full biography.
Henri Matisse (1869-1954)
Matisse was the leader of the Fauvist (meaning Wild Beasts) Movement, a painting style which focused on pure colors used in an aggressive and direct manner. His style changed many times over the years, but he never gave up his art. Matisse continued creating even into his 80's, when cancer had taken over his body. This was the time when he created the papercuttings that he is perhaps best known for. Matisse understood perfectly the relationship between color and shape, a talent which rightfully earned him the name "Master of Color."
Bathers by a River
Italian Woman
Dance
Promenade among the Olives
Butterfly Net
Carmelina
Abduction of Europa

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Oil on canvas; 260 x 391 cm

Dance, together with Music, was commissioned by S.I.Shchukin to decorate the staircase in his Moscow mansion. Matisse took the motif of the round dance, used as a symbol as back as far as French Renaissance, to represent the rhythm and expression of the 20th century. The spaciousness and expressive lines emphasize the dynamics of the figures. Simplified and schematic forms intensify the brightness and resonance of the three colours red, blue and green.
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