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Art of Matisse

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					                                  Henri Matisse
                                      (1869 - 1954)

Project Supply List:

Small shapes cut out using the Elison machine of various colors
Colored construction paper (one piece per student, plus a few extra)
Glue (students should have their own)
Scissors (students should have their own)

Project Summary:

The students will be creating “collages” like Matisse’s The Sorrows of the King – 1952,
plate 47 of The Color Library of Art: Matisse (included in portfolio) by gluing either the
precut shapes or pieces they cut out by themselves onto the piece of paper provided.
Encourage creativity and vivid use of color.

Presentation Summary:

Definitions:

Expressionist: artists that painted their emotional reactions to the community around
them, known for their radical style and the unique use of bright, bold colors.

Fauvism: Art movement lead by Matisse in which the paintings contain many simply
drawn figures, dancing, playing musical instruments and enjoying one another’s
company.

Impressionists: group of painters who worked in the latter third of the 19th century whose
paintings are characterized chiefly by short brush strokes of bright colors and
experimentation with light and shadow which suggest – without fine details – the subject
of the painting.

Negatives: left over paper scraps used by Matisse to create his collages.

Positives: The paper shapes cut out by Matisse to create his collages.

Biographical Information:

       Present biographical information provided below or from some other source. If
desired you may read the book included in the portfolio to present the biographical
information. This book is simply written and contains many useful pictures and
reproductions.

Present Prints:
The Blue Nude:
         In 1907 Matisse was at work on a modeled version of the pose which the subject
of this picture. The sculpture itself appears in a still-life Sculpture and Persian Vase. It
is said that while Matisse was working on the model, it was accidentally damaged.
Temporarily discouraged by the destruction of so much concentrated work he decided to
express the pose in a painting, The Blue Nude, one of his earliest large single nudes.
Already Matisse is rearranging the forms for the figure in conformity with what he feels
to be the requirements of pattern. It is revealing to compare the painting with the bronze
casts and to discover how the back and forth play of the directions of the limbs has been
suppressed by Matisse’s sensitive awareness of the picture surface.

The Purple Robe

Two Women

Still Life Oranges

Icarus from Jazz

The Goldfish


Biographical Information:

Henri Matisse was born in Le Cateau-Cambresis, France on December 31, 1869. When
Henri was eighteen years old he moved from Le Cateau-Cambresis to Paris to study Law.
When he was twenty years old, he became ill with appendicitis. To cheer him up while
he was recovering, his mother gave him a box of paints. The colors were so exciting to
Matisse that they changed his entire life. For the next sixty years, Matisse used bright
colors and simple lines to create a startling new kind of art.
        After earning his law degree, Matisse went to art school in Paris. He studied
under a very well known and important artist and teacher, Gustave Moreau. Like many
art students, Matisse learned the style and techniques of the old masters by copying their
work. Among these Masters was Raphael (paintings) and Rodin (sculpture – The
Thinker). Although he had great respect for these masters, Matisse had no desire to
repeat their styles. Matisse saw some paintings by Vincent van Gogh and decided to
study the theories and techniques of the Impressionists such as van Gogh, Monet and
Manet who were painting in France at the time.
Matisse began experimenting with vivid colors and flickering dots of paint. He spent
almost an entire year in 1898, in the south of France, painting where the clear light and
color of the landscape near the Mediterranean Sea influenced his work. He boldly
painted blue and orange fishing boats in shocking pink seas.
        By 1900, Matisse was the leader of the Post-Impressionists, those painters
working after the Impressionist painters. Matisse was known as an “Expressionist.”
Other artists like van Gogh, Cézanne and Gaugin were also part of this art movement
called Expressionism. Matisse and other Expressionists painted their emotional reactions
to the community with bright, bold colors in ways that had not ever been seen before.
        In 1905, a group of painters had a showing of their paintings at the Salon
D’Automne in Paris. An art critic who saw the dazzling and powerful paintings there
thought they were the works of wild beast, hence, Matisse and the other artists exhibiting
became known as the Fauvism. Matisse became a leader of this group of artists called,
The Fauves, which means “wild beasts.”
        Matisse’s wife, Amelie Payayre, and his two sons and daughter often modeled for
him. Matisse painted many landscapes and flowers, but it was the human figure that
Matisse enjoyed painting the most.
        When Matisse was old and ill and confined to bed, he began to make paper
cutouts. Since he was crippled, it was easier for him to cutout interesting shapes from
paper then it was for him to paint on canvas. The paper shapes he cut out, flowers,
leaves, shells, were called positives and the paper cut aways (the leftover paper scraps)
were called negatives. He used both in his collages.
        One of the last projects Matisse worked on was a religious commission. He
devoted his time from 1948 through 1952 creating the Chapel of the Dominicans at
Vence, France (last page of book, Henri Matisse by Raboff, included in portfolio). He
designed everything in the chapel from the stained glass windows to the vestments that
the priest wore. He wanted to create a church full of joy and peace.
        Matisse’s art became famous throughout the world. Matisse made sculptures,
designed books and even created the wall decorations and stained-glass windows for a
chapel. Matisse loved to create and it was his work that made him happy. He believed
that the purpose of pictures was to give pleasure. Through his use of jewel-like colors
and simple, bold lines, Matisse gives the viewers of his art infinite pleasure and peace.
Prints Included:




Blue Nude
Goldfish
Icarus from Jazz
The Purple Robe
Two Women
Bibliography:

       Books included in Portfolio:

       Brill, Frederick, Matisse, Paul Hamlyn, London, 1967.

     Raboff, Ernest, Art for Children: Henri Matisse, Harper and Row Publishers,
New York, 1988.

       Books Available at the School Library:

       Books Available at Winter’s Library

       Internet Sites

Reproducible Handouts:

				
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