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December 31

Harmony in Red (La chambre rouge; La Desserte - Harmonie rouge), 1908-1909

Matisse spent long periods of time planning and sketching his work, but the final art he made rather quickly.

Harmony in Red (La chambre rouge; La Desserte - Harmonie rouge), 1908-1909. Photo by flickr user "dalbera"

1869: Master of Color
Henri Matisse is born in Le Cateau-Cambresis, France
The great French artist Henri Matisse moved fluidly through five decades of art, exploring several different media along the way, from sketching to a form of collage known as “cut outs.” He was one of the key members of the Fauve movement, whose adherents used unusually bold color combinations to create stylized paintings that pushed back against realism.

Yet later in his career, Matisse hewed more toward traditional types of painting, even as his use of color continued to electrify viewers. In his seventies, he also leapt wholeheartedly into collage, using scissors to cut shapes from paper when holding a brush became too difficult for him. Perhaps the greatest French artist of the 20th century, Henri Matisse made art until the very end.
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