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Matisse's work is carried by a planar use of color and tension-filled lines. In his paintings, the coloration, the playful composition and the lightness of his pictorial themes are the result of long studies. With his silhouettes (gouaches découpées) created in the 1940s - one example is the artist's book Jazz - Matisse, who was seriously ill, created a late work that brings his efforts at reduction to a conclusion and, with its colorfulness and ornamentation, is considered the high point of his artistic career. The artist considered the Rosary Chapel in Vence, which he planned and decorated, inaugurated in 1951, to be his masterpiece. His stylistic innovations influenced modern art. Thus, the abstract expressionists in the United States repeatedly referred to his works.

Henri Matisse, full name: Henri Émile Benoît Matisse (* December 31, 1869 in Le Cateau-Cambrésis, Département Nord, France; † November 3, 1954 in Cimiez, today a district of Nice), was a French painter, graphic artist, draftsman and sculptor. He ranks with Pablo Picasso among the most important artists of Classical Modernism. Along with André Derain, he is considered a pioneer and main representative of Fauvism, which propagated the breakaway from Impressionism and represented the first artistic movement of the 20th century.

*1869-1954

Henri Matisse

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Oil on canvas, 150,0 x 241,0 cm
 Th e Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA, USA 
 © Bridgeman Images

177 | The Joy of Life (Le Bonheur de vivre) Die Lebensfreude, c. 1905-1906

Oil on canvas, 65,3 x 92,3 cm
 Musee National d‘Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
 © Hansmann – ARTOTHEK

178 | Odalisque with red panties (Odalisque à la culotte rouge) Odaliske mit roter Hose, 1921

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