Art: Matisse's Imprint Upon an Age

What interests me most is neither still life nor landscape but the human figure. It is through it that I best succeed in expressing the nearly religious feeling that I have toward life.

—Henri Matisse, 1908

HENRI MATISSE may be the best proof since Shakespeare of the irrelevance of the facts of a great artist's life to the genius of his work. Not that the facts are unknown. They are copious. Henri Matisse was born 100 years ago into the family of a grain merchant. He took up the study of law and turned seriously...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!