Born December 31, 1869, Le Cateau, Picardy, France
Died November 2, 1954, Nice, France
Henri Matisse was a French painter, sculptor, and graphic artist. He was a law clerk when he became interested in art. After study with Gustave Moreau at the École des Beaux-Arts, he exhibited four paintings at the Salon and scored a triumph when the government bought his Woman Reading (1895). Self-confident and venturesome, he experimented with pointillism but eventually abandoned it in favour of the swirls of spontaneous brushwork and riots of colour that became known as Fauvism.