Henri Matisse: The Barnes Foundation Coloring Books

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9780764962158: Henri Matisse: The Barnes Foundation Coloring Books
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Soft cover book with staple binding. 48 pages with 18 images to color. Size: 8½ x 11 in. Coloring pages are blank on the back so they can be cut out and displayed.
Far northern France is a gray, rainy place. Nothing could be more different from the paintings made by Henri Matisse, full of sunshine, joy, and bursts of color. Still, that gray land is where Matisse was born and grew up how is that possible? Maybe the people who suffer the worst weather most appreciate and celebrate the best weather. Certainly they deserve big bouquets of the first blooms of spring. Matisse often painted flowers, and he also loved open windows, bright cloth, women dressed exotically. He did not follow the old rules about shading or careful proportions, choosing instead to make pictures by combining big areas of color. Those blues and reds and greens are shown inside the cover of this book, but you are invited to invent your own combinations when you color in the following pages.

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About the Author:

In the late 1880s, Henri Matisse was a young court administrator on extended convalescence following a bout of appendicitis. His mother, who occasionally painted china, presented him with a set of art supplies to help pass the time. From the moment I held the box of colors in my hands, I knew this was my life, he later remarked. I threw myself into it like a beast that plunges towards the thing it loves.

By 1891 Matisse had moved to Paris and was enrolled at the Académie Julian. Although his art training was traditional, within a few years he had begun to develop a reputation as a rebel. His exposure to the works of French impressionists and post-impressionists, to the colors of Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin, to the structure of Paul Cézanne and Auguste Rodin, and to the lines of Japanese prints pushed his style in new and increasingly modern directions. Matisse s daring new style was greeted by mixed reviews. Following his unsuccessful first solo show in 1904, his wildly colorful painting Woman with a Hat, which appeared at the 1905 Salon d Automne group exhibition, met with derision from Parisian art critics, and Matisse and other artists associated with this exhibition were labeled fauves (wild animals). In spite of this critical reception, Matisse soon found a home within the cultured circle surrounding Leo Stein and his family, and it was through their regular artistic gatherings that he met his lifelong friend and rival, Pablo Picasso, in addition to collectors like the Cone sisters and Dr. Albert Barnes.

Over the next five decades, Matisse enjoyed a productive and celebrated career, and while his style underwent various transformations over time, his dedicated use of a flat plane, bold colors, and fluid line served as inspiration to his contemporaries and to the generations of artists that have followed.

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