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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
Promenade among the Olives
Butterfly Net
Abduction of Europa


Promenade among the Olive Trees, 1905-1906

Henri Matisse (Le Cateau-Cambrésis [now Le Cateau, Picardy] 1869 - Nice 1954)
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975 (1975.1.194)

Painted in Collioure, a scenic town on the Mediterranean coast that drew many painters of the day, "Promenade among the Olive Trees" is one of the earliest and most important paintings of Matisse's Fauve period. Inspired by the works of his older contemporaries Paul Signac and Henri-Edmond Cross, who also lived in the south of France at this time, Matisse adopted the vibrant, unnatural colors favored by the Fauves. The artist found great inspiration in the sun-drenched landscape of Collioure, writing to a friend that it was full of "charming sites." This painting was acquired by Gertrude and Leo Stein shortly after it was completed.
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