Course overview

Come and learn about the life and art of Henri Matisse, one of the greatest painters of the 20th century. Inspiring and informative, this study-day will present the main stages of his career, from Fauvism to the Cut-Outs. We will analyse in detail some of his iconic works such as “the Bonheur de Vivre”, “the Dance”, “the Red Studio”, and the album of cut-outs, “Jazz”.

Course description

This day-school will retrace the main steps of Matisse’s career, from his late discovery of painting in 1890 to his “second life”, i.e. the cut-outs in the 1950s. Doing so we will study a series of iconic works of art: Le bonheur de vivre, Dance II, and the album Jazz.

Henri Matisse (1869-1954) was considered by Picasso as his only true rival. Throughout his career, from Fauvism to the cut-outs, he relentlessly explored the expressive potential of lines and colours and kept renewing his style. To viewers, his artworks often appear as joyful and decorative. However, for the artist, their realisation was far from easy and relied on an assiduous creative process. In the introduction you will discover the man behind the art.

Matisse became a painter relatively late in his life, but quickly became a leading figure of the avant-garde with his fauvist paintings. During these crucial years, Matisse stressed the importance of the “decorative” as a key concept to understand how his art functions. We will explain, for instance, why he thought the painting should be like “a good armchair” for the viewer, and provide a “soothing” experience.

Another point of focus of this study-day will be the cut-outs, Matisse’s late years. After serious health issues that prevented him to paint at the easel, he reinvented his creative process. He started cutting and pasting, and created the “cut-outs”. It is also during this time that he designed stained glass windows and ceramic panels for the

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