Henri Matisse

"I don't paint things. I only paint the difference between things."

"What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter."

"Drawing is like making an expressive gesturewith the advantage of permanence."

"I have always sought to be understood and, while I was taken to task by critics or colleagues, I thought they were right, assuming I had not been clear enough to be understood. This assumption allowed me to work my whole life without hatred and even without bitterness toward criticism, regardless of its source. I counted solely on the clarity of expression of my work to gain my ends. Hatred, rancor, and the spirit of vengeance are useless baggage to the artist. His road is difficult enough for him to cleanse his soul of everything which could make it more so."

Henri Matisse was born on December 31, 1869 in Le Cateau Cambresis, France. He first got a degree in law and then decided to become an artist. He studied for three years with Gustave Moreau. He learned a lot by copying paintings by other great artists, such as Raphael. Matisse was one of the founders of a type of art called Fauvism. He liked to do paintings with people because it made it easy for him to express his feelings about life. He especially liked to paint women, because he said they held the answer to the mystery of life. Matisse also did many pieces of art using cut paper. He was also a sculptor and an etcher. Because Matisse had cancer, he became confined to a wheelchair. From his wheelchair, he completed one of his most famous works, painting the inside of the Chapelle du Rosaire. Matisse died in 1954.