Born in 1869, Henri Matisse was a widely influential French painter who lived in the early 20th century. He was really more of an intellectual artist than an emotional artist, although you might not guess that from his work alone.
You would guess it from his previous occupation, however. Before he was a painter, Matisse studied law and even worked for a few years in a law office. He actually began painting during a serious illness when he couldn’t work, but apparently that was all it took.
By the age of 23 he had enough of law and decided to pursue art as a career.
Like his contemporary, Pablo Picasso, Matisse tried out several different styles of painting before becoming known for one particular thing. And while Picasso became known for his Cubist paintings, Matisse simply became known for his color.
His paintings really shocked viewers at first, not because of their subject matter but because they were created with deliberately unnatural colors in jarring combinations.