He studied art in Paris where he painted mostly landscapes and still lifes. He was successful at this and the state even bought five of his paintings. In 1898, he discovered impressionism. A friend and fellow painter, John Peter Russell introduced him to the work of the impressionists including van Gogh who was still unknown and Gauguin. Matisse’s style changed completely following this discovery and color took center-stage in his paintings.
This love of color evolved into Fauvism, in which natural scenes are portrayed in unnatural, usually extremely bright, colors.
By the end of his life Matisse was thoroughly interested in patterns and from this interest came his collages. Made from boldly hand-painted paper cut into shapes, Matisse’s collages were usually large works of simplicity. He create a book, Jazz, illustrated with these collages.
Shown below are two paintings by Matisse, Two Figures Reclining in a Landscape and The Red Madrass Headress. Notice the difference in style and color use.
EDITED TO ADD: Create Your Own Matisse Collage
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