9 x 12"
oil on panel
Henri Matisse was born in 1869 in Northern France, the oldest son of a rich grain merchant. His father sent him to law school in Paris, and after an attack of appendicitis, his kind mother brought him art supplies to occupy his days in recovery and Henri discovered "a kind of paradise" - then deciding he was to become an artist rather than a lawyer. Imagine that - an appendicitis attack gave us the great Henri Matisse.
Henri was serious about art - creating paintings, sculptures, cut-out collages and stained glass windows right up until his death at the age of 84. What is recognizable in many painting is the repetition of colors and pattern and a general feeling of harmony.
The Music (La Musique) was painted in 1910, commissioned by a wealthy Russian who hung it with The Dance on the staircase of his Moscow mansion. It is said Matisse created the painting without any preparation or sketches, like Dance, aiming to show a 'state of complete immersion in creativity'. I love this quote from Matisse, saying his ultimate goal was to create "an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter, an art which could be for every menial worker, for the businessman as well as the man of letters, for example, a soothing, calming influence on the mind, something like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue".
The art of Zen. The Zen of art.
From the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, New York - women surrounding The Music by Henri Matisse.
Please click here for a larger view.