Artwork Guide: Henri Matisse

French, 1869–1954

Henri Matisse was born in 1869 in northern France. While he was working in a law office as a young clerk, he became very ill with appendicitis. As he was recovering, his mother gave him a paint set to keep him occupied in the hospital. It was around this time that he decided to become an artist. He went to art school in Paris, and he became famous after an exhibition in 1905. As an adult, he traveled the world and made many paintings. Even when he fell seriously ill as an old man, he continued to make art, and worked until the end of his life.


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