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Henri-Émile-Benoît Matisse, known as Henri Matisse, is one of the most famous artists of the twentieth century.
Born in Le Cateau-Cambrésis on December 31, 1869, he moved to Paris where he started his studies in Law; two years after the transfer, during convalescence as a result of an appendicitis attack, approaches painting as an activity to deceive the time spent at home, thus discovering his true vocation.
With his father's disapproval, in 1891 he joined the Academie Julian, initially dedicating himself to landscapes of Flemish tradition.
Only later he discovered the impressionist style that influenced him so much: Van Gogh, Gauguin and Cézanne were his great inspirations together to Japanese art and its particular use of colour.
He was one of the major exponents of the Fauves current (from the French "savage beasts"); moving away from flattened and aesthetic forms of expression, he appeared at the Salon d'Automne in 1905 along with several other artists, which art was characterized by a violent and dissonant use of colour in order to excite emotions and to overcome realism in the choice of dominant tones.
From here until the year of his death (1954), Matisse perfected his technique more and more, refusing figurative art and immersing himself more and more in a deep exploration of the colour and its strength. He died at the age 84 in Nice.
To this day, he is remembered not only as a painter but also as an engraver, illustrator and sculptor. His works, at that time often subject to discordant criticisms and opinions, are now exposed all over the world.