Matisse, Henri

Matisse was born to flower-sellers in France. He worked as a court administrator until he discovered painting while recovering from appendicitis. In 1905, he took part in an exhibition at the Salon d’Automne. A critic described Matisse and his comrades’ work as: “Donatello au milieu des fauves!” (Donatello among the wild beasts) – referring to a Renaissance-type sculpture in the exhibition hall. Matisse became a leading figure in modern art. From 1941, he was confined to a wheelchair. He began “painting with scissors”, making the collages for which he is well-known.