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Latest Articles - Luxury

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Henri Matisse at the World Auctions

Thursday, 01 October 2009

henri matisse paintingsHenri Matisse was always experimenting with colors and techniques of writing and only recently his paintings were appreciated and highly estimated. The most expensive painting by the artist is «Blue Nude» sold for $33 million 641 thousand at Christie's in October 2007 at the start price of $10 million. The painting was purchased by the Russian collector Sergey Schukin who spent a wealth to make Matisse one of the reputed and favorite «wild» painters in Russia.

The recognized painter was born in the last day of 1869 in Le Cateau-Cambrésis, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, and grew up in Bohain-en-Vermandois in Northeastern France, in the family to the seed and paints businessman. In 1887 he went to Paris to study law and worked as a court administrator in Le Cateau-Cambrésis after gaining his specialty. Henri did not like the routine work but he had no idea how to use his creative and artistic skill inherited from his mother. His mother was engaged in manufacture of hats and writing on china ware. The turn of the tide in the fate of the painter whose paintings are now sold for million of dollars at the world auctions, became his illness when he was granted paints to entertain himself.

Soon after Henri received the father's consent and went to the capital city to study the art and at the age of 22 he started as a painter. Preliminary, his paining was close to the technique of impressionists. Though, that time he learned how to work with paints and the color became defining in his paintings. Henri defined the color as the «power that expresses the feelings».

The artworks of the painter strongly varied according to the surrounding painters and his location. In 1898 Matisse married to Amélie Noellie Parayre and he spent his honeymoon in London. His works of that period were greatly affected by the influence of the grand master of paints Turner. After the couple left for Corsica, the paintings by Henri started blooming with Mediterranean colors. When his sons were born, one after another, the painter got introduced to the follower of divisionism Paul Signac. During this period Henri made some works in the new divisionism technique when strokes of paint were laid in separate dots of bright and clear color. Matisse sank into experiments with paints creating incredible colorful contrasts due to that he was later called a «wild» painter in summer 1905 in the South of France. And this word originated the new movement «fauvism» (from French word ‘fauve'). And the works of this period are highly appreciated at modern auctions most of all.

So, the second expensive painting by Henri Matisse in the new style appeared on the top of Christie's Auction in May 2008. «Woman in a Purple Coat» by Matisse created in 1935 in Nice shows Lidiya Delektorskaya, the Russian immigrant, a Muse, an assistant and the favorite model of the painter. Yet, her portray was sold for the recorded price in 2007 at the auction of Matisse paintings. «Woman in a Purple Coat» was sold for $22.4 million at the New York auction. Painted in 1942 in his room at the Hôtel Régina in Nice, Danseuse dans le fauteuil, sol en damier is among the most confident and powerful in the artist's oeuvre. In the wake of the world record price of $18.48 million achieved at Sotheby's New York last spring for Matisse's Nu Couché du dos of 1927, Danseuse dans le fauteuil, sol en damier comes to sale from an American collection with an estimate of $16-24 million. La Coiffure painted by Matisse in 1927 was sold for $18,496 million in 1990. A bit earlier, in 1988 «Persian Dress платье» created in 1940 went at Sotheby's for $17,5 million. These five «women» by Henri Matisse were included in the list of the most expensive paintings of the world. Every of these paintings reveal the image of a Woman, a symbol of beauty, sensitivity and fertility, developing his concept of the woman-flower and using the exotic eastern patterns, and on the top of it, emphasizing all beauty and effeminacy in bright and intense colors.

We still have no idea who of favorite women of Matisse we will observe at auctions. Recently the paintings by Matisse go up in price and many museums or private collectors are willing to spend a fortune to acquire art works by the well-known painter-fauvist.

Inessa Hyder 

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