From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Henri Matisse (December 31, 1869 – November 3, 1954) was a French artist, noted for his use of color and his fluid, brilliant and original draughtsmanship. As a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but principally as a painter, Matisse is one of the best-known artists of the twentieth century. Although he was initially labeled as a Fauve (wild beast), by the 1920s, he was increasingly hailed as an upholder of the classical tradition in French painting. His mastery of the expressive language of color and drawing is apparent, in a body of work spanning over a half-century, and won him recognition as a leading figure in modern art.
The first painting of Matisse acquired by a public collection was Still Life with Geraniums (1910), exhibited in the Pinakothek der Moderne. Today, a Matisse painting can fetch as much as US $17 million. In 2002, a Matisse sculpture, Reclining Nude I (Dawn), sold for US $9.2 million, a record for a sculpture by the artist.
Matisse's daughter Marguerite often aided Matisse scholars with insights about his working methods and his works. She died in 1982 while compiling a catalog of her father's work.
Matisse's son, Pierre Matisse, (1900-1989) opened an important modern art gallery in New York City during the 1930s. The Pierre Matisse Gallery which was active from 1931 until 1989 represented and exhibited many European artists and a few Americans and Canadians in New York often for the first time. He exhibited Joan Miró, Marc Chagall, Alberto Giacometti, Jean Dubuffet, André Derain, Yves Tanguy, Le Corbusier, Paul Delvaux, Wilfredo Lam, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Balthus, Leonora Carrington, Zao Wou Ki, Sam Francis, sculptors Theodore Roszak, Raymond Mason and Reg Butler, and several other important artists, including the work of Henri Matisse.