Henri Matisse 1869 – 1954, was a French artist known for his use of color and his brilliant use of line. He discovered art when his mother brought him supplies during a period of convalescence from an illness. He said, “From the moment I held the box of colors in my hands, I knew this was my life. I threw myself into it like a beast that plunges towards the thing it loves.” Matisse’s mother was the first to advise her son not to adhere to the “rules” of art, but rather listen to his own emotions. He once declared that he wanted his art to be one "of balance, of purity and serenity. Henri Matisse is widely regarded as the greatest colorist of the twentieth century. Scholars have described Matisse as a precursor of Abstract Expressionism and major influence on much of modern art.
He was heavily influenced by art from other cultures- Incorporating Asian art, Moroccan design and colors , Islamic art, African sculpture, and Japanese prints into his own style.