Henri Matisse is an artist many of us have spent a lifetime enjoying. He’s an artist we love here at Her Blaze.

But, what does Matisse credit to him becoming an artist? That’s the question for the blog this week. 

Henri Matisse is a very famous 20th century French painter. Despite his amazing abilities, he didn’t not grow up with the intention of becoming an artist.

In fact, he studied law, passed the bar, and even clerked in a law office. But, at 20, due to a severe appendicitis, he was ordered to bed rest.

As a way for him to stay busy, his mother bought him art supplies. This is when he fell in love with art, specifically painting.


So, I guess that answers the question of ‘what inspired Henri Matisse to become an artist’? 

But there is so much more to Matisse than his bout with appendicitis. There is more to him than passing the bar exam.

He also had a friendly competitiveness with fellow famous artist, Pablo Picasso. When they first met, it is reported that they didn’t even like one another.

Because of a healthy rivalry, they eventually developed a friendship. Henri Matisse compared their friendship to a “boxing match”. 

One aspect of Matisse I found really interesting is the appendicitis issue wasn’t his only medical issue leading to good things for Matisse. In 1941, Matisse had an abdominal surgery which led to him developing the technique “painting with scissors”.

This was a technique of cutting painted papers into shapes and arranging them on his walls. He then recut, combined, and assembled them until he was pleased with the way they looked.


I guess, in the words of Sharon Osbourne, “your gut is always right”. Matisse’s “gut” inadvertently led to him becoming such an amazing artist. 

Because writing about such an iconic artist made me sentimental, I figured I’d close the blog reminiscing about famous artists we lost on this day.  Rudolf von Alt, an  Austrian painter passed at 92, Joseph Bayer, a composer, died at 61.

Gustav Vigeland, a Norwegian sculptor passed at 73. But, for me, the most impactful was Anne Frank. On this day, in 1945, died of typhus in the Belsen concentration camp at only 15! Remember some of these names because they’ll probably pop-up in a future blog! 

Do you have an art question you want answered? Please head over to Her Blaze and send those questions our way!

Have you tried Matisse’s technique of “painting with scissors”? Send that to us too!

Either way, any and all feedback is appreciated and can be done at the website. Have a great week Her Blaze supporters!

Thank You for reading Her Blaze Blog!

2 thoughts

  1. Please note my poor proofreading skills. There are a couple of errors, the most noteworthy are Ann Franke’s age. She passed at 15, not 50. My apologies.

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