Henri Matisse, Pasiphae, 1981 Pasiphae Portfolio, (Duthuit 38), 1981, Unsigned, Linocut on Rives, Edition XV/XXV, 12 5/8" x 10” Sheet Size,
Henri Matisse was born on December 31, 1869, in Le Cateau-Cambrésis, France. At 22, he had given up studying law in Paris to pursue painting. He had briefly studied art at the Académie Julian and Ecole des Beaux-Arts with Gustave Moreau. At 32, Matisse exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris, where he met Maurice de Vlaminck, who with Matisse would eventually lead the Fauve art movement. Matisse's work was included in the 1913 Armory Show in New York, and throughout the 1910s and into the 1920s, his work began to find collectors around the world. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, he divided his time between Paris and southern France, producing paintings, sculpture, lithographs, and etchings. Like many avant-garde artists in Paris, Matisse was receptive to a broad range of influences, particularly 'primitive' art, Near Eastern decorative art, African masks and sculpture, impressionist color, cubism, and the paintings of Paul Cezanne. The artist's images of the human face and figure -rendered in fluid lines and flat fields of color- typify these influences. Matisse argued for the prominence of instinct in art production, believing that an artist should not have complete control over color and form. He died on November 3, 1954, in Nice.