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Boats on the Beach, Etrétat
© Succession H. Matisse/ DACS 2022. Photo credit: The Fitzwilliam Museum

Boats on the Beach, Etrétat 1920

Henri Matisse (1869–1954)

The Fitzwilliam Museum

(b Le Cateau-Cambrésis, nr. Cambrai, 31 Dec. 1869; d Nice, 3 Nov. 1954). French painter, sculptor, draughtsman, printmaker, and designer, one of the most illustrious artists of the 20th century. From the 1920s he enjoyed an international reputation alongside Picasso as the foremost painter of his time. Unlike Picasso, he was a late starter in art, and he was not quite so prolific or versatile, but for sensitivity of line and beauty of colouring he stands unrivalled among his contemporaries. He began studying art in 1891 after abandoning a legal career. His early pictures—mainly still lifes and landscapes—were sober in colour, but in the summer of 1896, painting in Brittany, he began to adopt the lighter palette of the Impressionists. In 1899 he started to experiment with the Neo-Impressionist technique, which he still used five years later in one of his first major works—the celebrated Luxe, calme et volupté (1904–5, Mus.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)

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