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Henri mile Benot Matisse was a French artist leader of the Fauve group regarded as one of the great formative figures in 20th-century art and a master of the use of color and form to convey emotional expression Matisse was born in Le Cateau-Cambrsis in northern France on December 31 1869 The son of a middle-class family he studied and began to practice law In 1890 however while recovering slowly from an attack of appendicitis he became intrigued by the practice of painting Unlike so many great art masters Matisse did not begin painting as a young prodigious artist At first Matisses father had intended for his son to become a lawyer His sensitive health throughout childhood made it impossible for Matisse to consider an industrial career Both of his parents influenced Matisses life greatly He acquired artistic taste from his mother herself somewhat of an artist who often spent much of her time working on ceramics to decorate their home Her talented artistic ability and her support of his art influenced Henri Matisse in his decisions to pursue art as a career His father on the other hand was more of the average hard working class He was a local grain merchant Matisses father perhaps played a less influential role but never the less a significant one He was stricter and more disciplinary but for the most part he also supported his son during times of financial and emotional hardship On a personal level Matisse was a kindhearted and mischievous person He never gave in to doubt despair or impossible ideas although he often had good reason to do so He never hesitated to explore new projects even though they seemed wrong or upsetting by other artists For example when Matisse was working on the Vence Chapel Picasso was thoroughly upset that Matisse an unbeliever was undertaking a large-scale religious project However Matisse did not hesitate in any way to explore all possibilities Matisse
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