As one of the three founders of the Fauvist movement in French painting during the first decade of this century (along with Vlaminck and Derain), and easily the leader of this group, he stands with the likes of Picasso, Cezanne, Monet, and Duchamp as seminal influences in modern art. And it's not really Fauvist painting that I dislike. Fauvism is about color and what's not to like about color, even that which is totally expressionistic rather than rational. Nor am I bothered by the work of either of Matisse's henchmen. Derain's wild landscapes are "hot"--exciting. Vlaminck takes some getting use to, but there's a sort of Van-Gogh-like swirling excess of paint and color that delights the eye.
|The Red Room (Harmony in Red),|
1908-09, Henri Matisse
|The Blue Lady, 1837, Henri Matisse|