Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

Henri Matisse

with 2 comments

bressonmatisse

Henry Cartier-Bresson’s photograph of Henri Matisse is a symphony of ironies. The great French painter, known for his use of color and called Fauve (wild beast) is depicted in black and white, surrounded by birds and draped by a turban. The photograph does not show energetic, vivid Matisse remembered by many of his contemporaries. Although it is taken in 1944, ten years before the master’s death, Matisse was already a broken man. In 1939, he and his wife of 41 years separated. In 1941, he underwent a colostomy, which confined him to a wheelchair. His daughter is a captive in a Nazi concentration camp. The photograph showed all these ravages. Cartier-Bresson and Matisse remained good friends–when Cartier-Bresson published his seminal book, The Decisive Moment, Matisse drew the cover for him.

Written by Alex Selwyn-Holmes

April 22, 2009 at 7:52 am

Posted in Culture

Tagged with ,

2 Responses

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  1. It is a wonderful photo of Matisse, even though there are many sadnesses, Matisse has an element of peace. Bresson is a world of photography and we will never be the same after absorbing his lessons. He becomes to photography what Rodin is to sculpture. We stand with our mouths open, the rest is history. Thank you, for this thoughtful blog, well done!

    thinkvisual

    December 27, 2013 at 7:11 am

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