HENRI MATISSE (1869-1954) Attrib., Title: Untitled, Medium: Pastel (Crayon) on paper, Date: Circa 1940, Size: 14 x 11 in. COA. Was one of the giants of 20th century art. Along with his friend and peer Pablo Picasso, Matisse’s inventive figuration redefined Modern painting and sculpture. A founding member of the Fauvist movement, his exploration of intricate pattern and bright color in landscapes, portraiture, and still lifes cemented his place as one of the most influential painters of the era—a legacy that can be seen in the works of later artists such as Richard Diebenkorn, David Hockney, and Alex Katz. “What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject-matter,” he once said, “an art which could be for every mental worker, for the businessman as well as the man of letters, for example, a soothing, calming influence on the mind, something like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.” Born on December 31, 1869 in Le Cateau-Cambrésis, France, he took to art relatively late in life after initially pursuing law. One of his most iconic works, Blue Nude II (1952), was part of a series of cut-out and collaged paper works, made after an operation which left him bed-ridden and unable to stand at the easel. Matisse died on November 3, 1954 in Nice, France, having completed a career that spanned over 50 years.