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Henri Matisse Quotes



Quotes by Henri Matisse - (104 quotes)

Henri Matisse - From the Activity category:

In art, the genuine creator is not just a gifted being, but a person who has succeeded in arranging for their appointed end, a complex of activities, of which the work is the outcome. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Aging category:

From Bonheur de Vivre – I was thirty-five then – to this cut-out – I am eighty-two – I have not changed; not in the way my friends mean who want to compliment me, no matter what, on my good health, but because all this time I have looked for the same things, which I have perhaps realized by different means... (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Art category:

Art should be something like a good armchair in which to rest from physical fatigue. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Beginning category:

Starting to paint, I felt gloriously free, quiet, and alone. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Change category:

Did not the artists of the great age of Japanese art change names many times during their careers? I like that; they wanted to safeguard their freedom. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Colour category:

Cutting directly into color reminds me of a sculptor's carving into stone. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Colour category:

The use of expressive colors is felt to be one of the basic elements of the modern mentality, an historical necessity, beyond choice. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Colour category:

I am as curious about color as one would be visiting a new country, because I have never concentrated so closely on color expression. Up to now I have waited at the gates of the temple. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Colour category:

A certain blue enters your soul. A certain red has an effect on your blood-pressure. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Colour category:

A thimbleful of red is redder than a bucketful. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Colour category:

The chief function of color should be to serve expression. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Colour category:

A colourist makes his presence known even in a simple charcoal drawing. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Colour category:

Purer colors... have in themselves, independently of the objects they serve to express, a significant action on the feelings of those who look at them. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Complementaries category:

Put a colour upon a canvas – it not only colours with that colour the part of the canvas to which the colour has been applied, but it also colours the surrounding space with the complementary. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Complementaries category:

Put a colour upon a canvas - it not only colours with that colour the part of the canvas to which the colour has been applied, but it also colours the surrounding space with the complementary. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Composition category:

Composition is the art of arranging in a decorative manner the various elements which the painter uses to express his sentiments. In a picture every separate part will be visible and... everything which has no utility in the picture is for that reason harmful. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Composition category:

Composition, the aim of which is expression, alters itself according to the surface to be covered. If I take a sheet of paper of given dimensions, I will jot down a drawing which will have a necessary relation to its format. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Composition category:

Each work of art is a collection of signs invented during the picture's execution to suit the needs of their position. Taken out of the composition for which they were created, these signs have no further use. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Construction category:

Fit the parts together, one into the other, and build your figure like a carpenter builds a house. Everything must be constructed, composed of parts that make a whole... (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Courage category:

The effort to see things without distortion takes something like courage and this courage is essential to the artist, who has to look at everything as though he saw it for the first time. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Creativity category:

Creativity takes courage. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Criticism category:

I have always sought to be understood and, while I was taken to task by critics or colleagues, I thought they were right, assuming I had not been clear enough to be understood. This assumption allowed me to work my whole life without hatred and even without bitterness toward criticism, regardless of its source. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Deception category:

I have always tried to hide my efforts and wished my works to have the light joyousness of springtime which never lets anyone suspect the labors it has cost. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Difficulty category:

Hatred, rancor, and the spirit of vengeance are useless baggage to the artist. His road is difficult enough for him to cleanse his soul of everything which could make it more so. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Difficulty category:

There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose, because before he can do so, he has first to forget all the roses that were ever painted. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Dissatisfaction category:

I do not repudiate any of my paintings, but there is not one of them that I would not redo differently. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Drawing category:

Drawing is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Effort category:

The artist begins with a vision – a creative operation requiring an effort. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Ego category:

I have been no more than a medium, as it were. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Emotion category:

I shan't get free of my emotion by copying the tree faithfully, or by drawing its leaves one by one in the common language, but only after identifying myself with it. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Emotion category:

I am unable to make any distinction between the feeling I get from life and the way I translate that feeling into painting. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Emotion category:

Hatred, rancor, and the spirit of vengeance are useless baggage to the artist. His road is difficult enough for him to cleanse his soul of everything which could make it more so. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Energy category:

In art, truth and reality begin when you no longer understand anything you do or know and there remains in you an energy, that much stronger for being balanced by opposition, compressed, condensed. Then you must present it with the greatest humility. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Exploration category:

An artist is an explorer. He has to begin by self-discovery and by observation of his own procedure. After that he must not feel under any constraint. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Expression category:

I counted solely on the clarity of expression of my work to gain my ends. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Expression category:

Expression is not a matter of passion mirrored on the human face or revealed by a violent gesture. When I paint a picture, its every detail is expressive. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Finishing category:

Perhaps I might be satisfied, momentarily, with a work finished at one sitting, but I would soon get bored looking at it; therefore, I prefer to continue working on it so that later I may recognize it as a work of my mind. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Freedom category:

An artist should never be a prisoner of himself, a prisoner of manner, a prisoner of reputation, or a prisoner of success. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Freedom category:

When I started to paint I felt transported into a kind of paradise... In everyday life I was usually bored and vexed... Starting to paint I felt gloriously free... (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Genius category:

In art, the genius creator is not just a gifted being, but a person who has succeeded in arranging for their appointed end, a complex of activities, of which the work is the outcome. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Happiness category:

Derive happiness in oneself from a good day's work, from illuminating the fog that surrounds us. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Harmony category:

The sign for which I forge an image has no value if it doesn't harmonize with other signs, which I must determine in the course of my invention and which are completely peculiar to it. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Harmony category:

All that is not useful in a picture is detrimental. A work of art must be harmonious in its entirety; for superfluous details would, in the mind of the beholder, encroach upon the essential elements. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Humanity category:

It is through the human figure that I best succeed in expressing the nearly religious feeling that I have towards life. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Ideas category:

I am simply conscious of the forces I am using and I am driven on by an idea that I really only grasp as it grows with the picture. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Imitation category:

The residuum of another's expression can never be related to one's own feeling. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Importance category:

Seek the strongest color effect possible... the content is of no importance. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Impressionism category:

Impressionism is the newspaper of the soul. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Improvisation category:

What matters most to me? To work with my model until I have it enough in me to be able to improvise, to let my hand run free... (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Individuality category:

I have simply wished to assert the reasoned and independent feeling of my own individuality within a total knowledge of tradition. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Innocence category:

The artist has to look at life as he did when he was a child. If he loses that faculty, he cannot express himself in an original, that is, a personal way. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Innocence category:

You study, you learn, but you guard the original naivete. It has to be within you, as desire for drink is within the drunkard or love is within the lover. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Inspiration category:

Don't wait for inspiration. It comes while one is working. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Intuition category:

The things that are acquired consciously permit us to express ourselves unconsciously with a certain richness. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Invention category:

The sign is determined at the moment I use it and for the object of which it must form a part. For this reason I cannot determine in advance signs which never change, and which would be like writing: that would paralyze the freedom of my invention. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Light category:

A picture must possess a real power to generate light, and for a long time now I've been conscious of expressing myself through light, or rather in light. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Light category:

Colour helps to express light, not the physical phenomenon, but the only light that really exists, that in the artist's brain. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Lines category:

Remember, a line cannot exist alone; it always brings a companion along. Do remember that one line does nothing; it is only in relation to another that it creates a volume. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Love category:

Hatred is a parasite that devours all. One doesn't build upon hatred, but upon love. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Love category:

Love wants to rise, not to be held down by anything base... He who loves flies, runs, and rejoices; he is free and nothing holds him back. Derive happiness from yourself, from a good day's work, from the clearing that it makes in the fog that surrounds us. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Masters category:

Cezanne, you see, is a sort of God of painting. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Meaning category:

A work of art must carry in itself its complete significance and impose it upon the beholder even before he can identify the subject-matter... (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Mediums category:

A large part of the beauty of a picture arises from the struggle which an artist wages with his limited medium. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Methodology category:

A distinction is made between artists who work directly from nature and those who work purely from imagination. Neither if these methods should be preferred to the exclusion of the other. Often both are used in turn by the same man... (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Models category:

My models, my human figures, are never like extras in an interior. They are the main theme of my work. I depend absolutely on my model... (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Models category:

The model for me is a touchstone, it is a door which I must break open in order to reach the garden in which I am alone and feel good, even the model exists only for what use I can make of it. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Nature category:

An artist must possess Nature. He must identify himself with her rhythm, by efforts that will prepare the mastery which will later enable him to express himself in his own language. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Nudes category:

When an artist or student draws a nude figure with painstaking care, the result is drawing, and not emotion. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Nudes category:

The living model, the naked body of a woman, is the privileged seat of feeling, but also of questioning... The model must mark you, awaken in you an emotion which you seek in turn to express. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Painting category:

I do not literally paint that table, but the emotion it produces upon me. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Painting category:

I don't paint things. I only paint the difference between things. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Perfection category:

Exactitude is not truth. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Play category:

Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Portraiture category:

The portrait is one of the most curious art forms. It demands special qualities in the artist, and an almost total kinship with the model. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Power category:

When you're out of willpower you call on stubbornness, that's the trick. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Power category:

Truth and reality in art do not arise until you no longer understand what you are doing and are capable of, but nevertheless sense a power that grows in proportion to your resistance. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Preparation category:

In the beginning you must subject yourself to the influence of nature. You must be able to walk firmly on the ground before you start walking on a tightrope. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Preparation category:

It is only after years of preparation that the young artist should touch color – not color used descriptively, that is, but as a means of personal expression. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Pricing category:

I was very embarrassed when my canvases began to fetch high prices. I saw myself condemned to a future of nothing but Masterpieces. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Relaxation category:

What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject-matter, an art which might be for every mental worker, be he businessman or writer, like an appeasing influence, like a mental soother, something like a good armchair in which to rest from physical fatigue. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Renewal category:

I would like to recapture that freshness of vision which is characteristic of extreme youth when all the world is new to it. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Risk category:

A rapid rendering of a landscape represents only one moment of its existence. I prefer, by insisting upon its essential character, to risk losing charm in order to gain greater stability. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Satisfaction category:

Above all, an artist must never be too easily satisfied with what he has done... (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Senses category:

I want to reach that state of condensation of sensations which constitutes a picture. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Senses category:

Drawing is of the spirit; color is of the senses. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Shock category:

From the first shock of the contemplation of a face depends the principal sensation which guides me throughout the entire execution of a portrait. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Silence category:

Whoever wishes to devote himself to painting should begin by cutting out his tongue. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Simplicity category:

With greater completeness and abstraction, I have attained a form filtered to its essentials. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Space category:

The whole arrangement of my picture is expressive. The place occupied by the figures or objects, the empty spaces around them, the proportions, everything plays a part. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Struggle category:

After a half-century of hard work and reflection the wall is still there. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Subject category:

A work of art must carry in itself its complete significance and impose it upon the beholder even before he can identify the subject-matter. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Success category:

In most cases success equals prison... An artist should never be: prisoner of himself, prisoner of a manner, prisoner of a reputation, prisoner of success. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Symbols category:

I have to create an object which resembles the tree. The sign for a tree, and not the sign that other artists may have found for the tree. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Tones category:

A certain color tones you up. It's the concentration of timbres. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Tradition category:

A young painter who cannot liberate himself from the influence of past generations is digging his own grave. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Truth category:

Truth and reality in art begin at the point where the artist ceases to understand what he is doing and capable of doing – yet feels in himself a force that becomes steadily stronger... and more concentrated. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Truth category:

Never ruin a good painting with the truth. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Understanding category:

What's so astonishing about not understanding? There are so many things in art, beginning with art itself, that one doesn't understand. A painter doesn't see everything that he has put in his painting. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Uniqueness category:

A new painting is a unique event, a birth, which enriches the universe as it is grasped by the human mind, by bringing a new form into it. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Uniqueness category:

It has bothered me all my life that I do not paint like everybody else. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Windows category:

The wall around the window does not create two worlds. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Work category:

Work cures everything. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Work category:

One gets into a state of creativity by conscious work. (Henri Matisse)

Henri Matisse - From the Worth category:

Time extracts various values from a painter's work. When these values are exhausted the pictures are forgotten, and the more a picture has to give, the greater it is. (Henri Matisse)