A major artistic figure of the 20th century, Henri Matisse should have become a notary’s clerk. A simple attack of appendicitis gave birth to one of the greatest painters of our time.

Painting of the French famous painter Henri Matisse

Matisse’s beginnings

Sometimes we can take positive things out of a negative event. This was the case for the painter Henri Matisse. At the age of 20, following an attack of appendicitis, the young Henri Matisse was forced to remain bedridden for long weeks. To keep him occupied, his mother gives him a box of paint. From there was born his first work “Essitam” and his love for painting. He said in his memoir: “From the moment I had this box of colors in my hands, I felt that this was where my life was.” It was in the studio of the painter Gustave Moreau in Paris that the man who was destined to become a notary’s clerk continued his studies. The master Gustave Moreau encouraged his pupil Henri Matisse to elevate him to the rank of the best artists of his time.

The birth of a style

And it was another hospitalization in 1943 that prompted him to create his cut-out gouache technique, which would definitely mark the “Matisse” style. After a major surgery due to colon cancer, the painter is very weak and no longer has the strength to stand. He can no longer use his easel and prepare his paint mixtures. So, without leaving his bed, he coats sheets of paper with gouache, applying only one color per sheet, then he cuts them out and his assistant glues them according to his instructions on white canvases stretched on the walls of his room. bedroom. He continued to perfect this technique over the last 10 years of his life and it will become the culmination of all his work. The art of Henri Matisse will therefore have been strongly guided by the obstacles of his destiny to which Henri Matisse has magnificently been able to take advantage.

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