Matisse is one of the greatest artists of the 20th century and every year on his birthday he is celebrated around the world. A visionary, his use of expressive language in color and form is renowned throughout his paintings, printmaking, drawings, collages, and sculpture. His sculpture in particular, is perhaps his most fascinating to view as it is relatively unknown and created with no sense of the medium in mind.
“I sculpted as a painter, I did not sculpt like a sculptor. Sculpture does not say what painting says,” Matisse said. Having produced only a limited amount of sculptures, the beauty in them is that in contrast to his works on paper, his sculptures are often about stresses and struggles. This is due to the fact that the three-dimensional medium permitted Matisse to twist the figure even more than he had in painting, truly capturing their full physical and “psychic” value.
Inspired by Michelangelo’s famous masterpiece “David”, more than half of Matisse’s sculptures were completed between 1900 and 1910. Frequently working in series, Matisse would manipulate the form and simplify it over the years. With a particular interest in non-European culture, Matisse’s sculpture moves away from naturalism towards a more elemental and physical sense of the human body.
With a focus on relief sculpture initially to bridge the comfort between two-dimensional and three-dimensional art, Matisse eventually became to love the medium. However he could not make a profit on his sculptures, so he stopped creating them. Although Matisse was disappointed, he had a wonderfully rich career full of achievements, and it is today that we celebrate his creative ingenuity, for without it the world would be quite a different place.
MORE ARTICLES ON HENRI MATISSE:
View our Henri Matisse inventory here: Henri Matisse inventory
Please visit our Art Education page here: Masterworks Fine Art Gallery Art Education
Suggested Matisse artworks:
- Nausicaa from Ulysses, 1935 Henri Matisse Hand Signed Etching for saleSOLDItem # 5320
- Odalisque au coffret rouge (Odalisque with Red Box) , 1952 Henri Matisse Hand Signed Color AquatintREQUEST PRICE/SUBMIT BEST OFFERW-6100
- Nu assis, main tenant le menton (Seated Nude, Holding Chin), 1906 Henri Matisse Hand Signed LithographREQUEST PRICE/SUBMIT BEST OFFERItem # 5259
- Odalisque sur la terrasse (Odalisque on the Terrace), 1922 Henri Matisse Original color aquatint on Arches block watermarked paperREQUEST PRICE/SUBMIT BEST OFFERItem # 6000
- La Vierge et l’Enfant (Virgin and Child), 1949 Henri Matisse Original Hand Signed Lithograph for saleSOLDW-5803
- Petit Interieur Bleu (Little Blue Interior),1952 Henri Matisse Color Aquatint on Arches PaperREQUEST PRICE/SUBMIT BEST OFFERW-5407