Sunday, August 30, 2009

Henri Matisse: a Pretty Good Set of Biographical Information

Henri Matisse
  • Born: 31 December 1869
  • Birthplace: Le Cateau-Cambrésis, France
  • Died: 3 November 1954
  • Best Known As: French artist and leader of the Fauve movement
"Henri Matisse is considered the most important French artist of the 20th century and, along with Pablo Picasso, one of the most influential modernist painters of the last century. Matisse began studying drawing and painting in the 1890s. A student of the masters of Post-Impressionism, Matisse later made a reputation for himself as the leader of a group of painters known as Les Fauves. An ironic label given to them by a critic (it means "wild beasts"), the name reflected Matisse's aggressive strokes and bold use of primary colors...."

That's how the page on Henri Matisse starts. Most of the information's what you'll pick up elsewhere online - although has, I think, one of the more thorough and accessible collections of text and pictures.

I was particularly interested in a paragraph at the end of's copy of a Wikipedia page:

"...Henri Matisse's grandson, Paul Matisse, is an artist and inventor living in Massachusetts. Matisse's great granddaughter Sophie Matisse is active as an artist in 2009. Les Heritiers Matisse functions as his official Estate. The U.S. copyright representative for Les Heritiers Matisse is the Artists Rights Society...."

The links on led back to pages (fair enough - they like to generate internal traffic). I did a quick search and found the URL for Artists Rights Society:


Artists Rights Society uses the acronym ARS - probably inspired by "ars longa, vita brevis", attributed to Hippocrates: or, 'Life is fleeting, but art endures.' ("The Trouble with Art" Ronald R. Thomas) And ARS is in New York City: N. Y.: so a good, memorable URL for the outfit is - until someone pronounces it.

Getting back to Henri Matisse.

I was glad to learn that his descendants, some of them, are keeping up the sort of creative work that Henri Matisse did.

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