|The works of Paul Cézanne and Paul Signac largely
inspired the French painter Henri Emile Benoit Matisse,
born on December 31, 1889 in Le Cateau, Northern
France. Under their influence he was, as of 1906, able to
discard his early impressionist style in favour of using intense
colours as the central, stylistic device.
That way he turned objects into carriers of colour, whose duty no longer was to realistically or naturalistically portray surfaces. For art critics, who saw the paintings of Matisse and his colleagues as a distortion of shapes, this was an intolerable occurrence and therefore the group was mockingly called "Les Fauves" (the wild ones). Still lifes, which perfectly fitted his preference for a spatial ornamental division, accompanied his entire work.
He converted everything spatial and concrete into coloured surfaces and doing so, he created rhythmically balanced compositions of the highest decorative effects without over turning towards abstraction. His colourful and surface-like style led Matisse to paint murals in the 1930s. From 1941 onwards, he created works of brilliantly coloured paper cutouts, which marked the decorative peak of his achievement. In his last years of creation, he was also commissioned to design the decoration of the small chapel Notre-Dame du Rosarie in Vence near Nice, where he had lived since 1917. Henri Matisse died on March 3, 1954 in a suburb of Nice.