Henri Matisse is widely regarded as the greatest colorist of the 20 th century and as a rival to Pablo Picasso in the importance of his innovations. He emerged as a Post-Impressionist , and first achieved prominence as the leader of the French movement Fauvism. Although interested in Cubism , he rejected it, and instead sought to use color as the foundation for expressive, decorative, and often monumental paintings. As he once controversially wrote, he sought to create an art that would be "a soothing, calming influence on the mind, rather like a good armchair. He is also highly regarded as a sculptor. Matisse meticulously experimented with art, trying and retrying ideas saying: "I have always tried to hide my efforts and wished my works to have a light joyousness of springtime which never lets anyone suspect the labors it has cost me.
The Blue Nudes is a series of color lithographs by Henri Matisse made from cut-outs depicting nude figures in various positions. Restricted by his physical condition after his surgery for stomach cancer, Matisse began creating art by cutting and painting sheets of paper by hand and supervised the creation of the lithographs until his death in Blue Nude IV , the first of the four nudes, took a notebook of studies and two weeks' work of cutting-and-arranging before the resulting artefact satisfied him. In the event, Matisse finally arrived at his favorite pose, for all four works—intertwining legs and an arm stretching behind the neck. The posture of the nude woman is like the posture of a number of seated nudes made in the first years of the s, ultimately, the posture derives from the reposed figures of Le bonheur de vivre. Blue Nude I , in particular, can be compared with sculptures such as La Serpentine , from The color blue signified distance and volume to Matisse.
Matisse was working on a sculpture, Reclining Nude I, when he accidentally damaged the piece. Before repairing it, he painted it in blue against a background of palm fronds. She is also a deliberate response to nudes seen in the Paris Salon - ugly and hard rather than soft and pretty.
The below artworks are the most important by Henri Matisse - that both overview the major creative periods, and highlight the greatest achievements by the artist. The landscape is likely based on the view from Paul Signac's house in Saint-Tropez, where Matisse was vacationing. Most of the women are nude in the manner of a traditional classical idyll , but one woman - thought to represent the painter's wife - wears contemporary dress. This is Matisse's only major painting in the Neo-Impressionist mode, and its technique was inspired by the Pointillism of Paul Signac and Georges Seurat.