Art Lovers discussion

Guess Who (by artist bio) > Want to Guess?---Matisse

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Heather, Moderator (last edited Jul 24, 2018 07:29AM) (new)

Heather | 8332 comments ______'s father was a successful seed merchant a provincial town in northern France. The region was famed for its weavers, whose beautifully patterned textiles were, in the industrializing second half of the 19th century, in increasing demand among the fashionable bourgeoisie in Paris. As a boy, ________ fell in love with such fabrics...

Still, although he took drawing classes in school and was recognized for his ability, the thought of an artistic career had not yet occurred to him. He wanted to be a circus performer or an actor; his father felt that he should begin preparing himself to take over the family business.

As it happened, his dreamy nature, and stomach problems brought on by nervous tension, ultimately rendered this option impractical, so a position was found for him as a clerk in a law office. _________ was rejected for military service on account of his health, and that same year, suffering from a hernia and exhausted from constant battling with his father over his future, he ended up in the hospital.

During a listless recuperation, he was advised by the patient next to him—who was copying a picture of a landscape—to try oil painting as a distraction. His mother brought him a paint box with two pictures...

It was a revelation:

__________ said "Before, I had no interest in anything. I felt a great indifference to everything they tried to make me do. From the moment I held the box of colors in my hand, I knew this was my life. Like an animal that plunges headlong toward what it loves, I dived in. . . . It was a tremendous attraction, a sort of Paradise Found, in which I was completely free, alone, at peace."

The idea of finding personal freedom in the activity of painting recurs...often in the context of __________’s experiences of grave self-doubt. During his time __________ felt a terrible sense of inadequacy and frustration.

________ stated "What has been taken for boldness [in my work] was no more than the fact that anything else proved too difficult. Freedom is really the impossibility of following the same road as everybody else: freedom means taking the path your talents make you take."

_________ showed one of the products of this labor, [painting], at the Salon de la Nationale in [year]. An Impressionist-influenced interior, it exudes a delicate luminosity and quiet compositional strength. But the public—still expecting to see the kind of idealized pictures ________ felt he could not paint—recoiled in horror; from his father, who had come to Paris for the exhibition and who stood under his son’s painting listening to the comments of the viewers, ___________ heard reports that “people saw germs at the bottom of my decanters.” This was not the last time that __________ would be accused of painting “diseased” pictures.

__________ himself was far from being cool, calm, or collected. Among other things, he suffered terribly from insomnia; his wife would often read to him, sometimes until dawn, until he fell asleep. And during the early 1900’s, when he was grappling with the example of Cézanne, with Neo-Impressionism, and with his own radical pictorial innovations, he worried that he might go mad.

... goal was not to represent a scene or subject naturalistically; rather, it was to capture certain emotions or sensations connected both to the experience of it and to the uninhibited use of pure color. In describing how it felt to be making such pictures, __________ said, “We were at that point like children before nature, and we let our temperaments speak. . . . I spoiled everything on principle, and worked as I felt, only by color.”

__________ was not simply discarding perspective, abolishing shadows, repudiating the academic distinction between line and color. He was attempting to overturn a way of seeing evolved and accepted by the Western world for centuries. . . . He was substituting for [an] illusion of objectivity a conscious subjectivity, a 20th-century art that would draw its validity essentially from the painter’s own visual and emotional responses.

_______’s son-in-law later recalled what it was like to be around _________ at this time:

"The obvious forebodings experienced by the painter—who is at the same time so prudent and so orderly that people call him “the Doctor”—made him tremble. During the few years when he was able to endure this vision, _______ spent whole nights without sleep, nights of desperation and panic.

The conflicts and anguish that his struggle gave rise to made it all the more imperative for _______ to pursue the goal he had set for himself: to find a mode of pictorial expression that would enable him to impose some kind of order on the chaos in his own psyche. He once stunned a visitor by remarking that what drove him to take up his brush was the impulse to strangle someone. Yet the absence of violent or ugly feeling in the works themselves shows just how far he was from being the kind of painter—all too familiar in the history of 20th-century art—who gives his brush free rein to declare his state of mind, whatever it may be.

Who Am I?

(view spoiler)

message 2: by Geoffrey (new)

Geoffrey Aronson (geaaronson) | 930 comments Renoir?

message 3: by Heather, Moderator (last edited Jul 25, 2018 04:20AM) (new)

Heather | 8332 comments Clue: one of the two towering figures of 20th-century modernism in painting (the other being Picasso)

message 4: by Heather, Moderator (new)

Heather | 8332 comments Clue: discovered his passion for art relatively late and seemingly without intending to

message 5: by Connie (new)

Connie G (connie_g) | 362 comments Matisse?

message 6: by Heather, Moderator (last edited Jul 25, 2018 07:21AM) (new)

Heather | 8332 comments Connie wrote: "Matisse?"

You got it, Connie! Good job!

message 7: by Ellen (new)

Ellen | 116 comments So definitely Matisse. And the Cateau-Cambresis Museum in Matisse's home countryside in the Pas de Calais is one of the most wonderful places I have ever been. We were en route from one place to another, heading toward Arras (which also had a great art museum) and literally drove by this place.

back to top