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Matisse – Modern Artist & Colorist Extraordinaire
The ‘mighty’ Matisse was admired and threatened by Picasso. Matisse’s use of the color red is legendary, but little may be known of his family carrying on his legacy.
Henri Matisse was twelve years older than his friend and rival Pablo Picasso; they met at the Paris salon of Gertrude Stein, an American in Paris.
When you think of Henri Matisse, you may recollect his paintings: "Le Bonheur de Vivre" or "Joy of Living" (1905-1906) from the Barnes Museum, his unique treatment of Odalisque in an oriental setting, or his paper cut collages.
The Barnes Museum in Philadelphia, PA was formerly the Barnes Collection in Merion, PA.
I visited there a few years ago only to be sent away after not having tickets. The line of cars in the upscale neighborhood brought out neighbors with their cameras to capture on film the art enthusiasts (or intruders) as they would interpret the intentions of the crowds.
I hope to someday visit the Barnes Museum to see the magnificent collection of Dr. Barnes and I encourage you to make the trip.
As for Matisse’s family, his daughter Marguerite was from a previous relationship before he married his wife Amélie. During WWII, Marguerite was a member of the Résistance, tortured in a French prison, and sent to a concentration camp. Luckily, she escaped the train en route to the camp and was rescued.
Marguerite would assist Matisse scholars with invaluable insight into her father’s artistic style. She helped in compiling a catalog of her father’s work until her death in 1982.
Matisse and Amélie had two sons: Pierre and Jean. Two of his children: Marguerite and Pierre, would be supportive of their father’s work throughout their lives.
Pierre opened a modern art gallery in New York during the 1930s. He exhibited work by his father as well as other Europeans, giving the French artist Balthus his first exhibition in 1938. The portrait, "Pierre Matisse" (1938) by Balthus can be seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
You can own a poster print of Matisse's "Le Bonheur de Vivre" or "Joy of Life," available here from Amazon.com.
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