Henri Matisse
Henri Matisse was a French artist, known for his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman
Drawing is a form of visual art that makes use of any number of drawing instruments to mark a two-dimensional medium. Common instruments include graphite pencils, pen and ink, inked brushes, wax color pencils, crayons, charcoal, chalk, pastels, markers, styluses, and various metals .An artist who...

, printmaker
Printmaking is the process of making artworks by printing, normally on paper. Printmaking normally covers only the process of creating prints with an element of originality, rather than just being a photographic reproduction of a painting. Except in the case of monotyping, the process is capable...

, and sculptor
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

, but is known primarily as a painter. Matisse is commonly regarded, along with Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

 and Marcel Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp was a French artist whose work is most often associated with the Dadaist and Surrealist movements. Considered by some to be one of the most important artists of the 20th century, Duchamp's output influenced the development of post-World War I Western art...

, as one of the three artists who helped to define the revolutionary developments in the plastic arts in the opening decades of the 20th century, responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture.

At each stage I reach a balance, a conclusion. At the next sitting, if I find that there is a weakness in the whole, I make my way back into the picture by means of the weakness — I re-enter through the breach — and I reconceive the whole. Thus everything becomes fluid again.

Statement to Tériade|Tériade, quoted by Tériade in "Constance de Fauvisme," Minotaure (1936-10-15), translated by Jack Flam in Matisse on Art (1995)

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

Time magazine (1950-06-26)

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.

As quoted in obituaries (1954-11-05)

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

As quoted in Matisse (1984) by Pierre Schneider

Impressionism is the newspaper of the soul.

As quoted in Matisse (1984) by Pierre Schneider

[I wouldn't mind turning into] a vermilion goldfish.

At age 80, as quoted in Matisse (1984) by Pierre Schneider

Drawing is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence.

As quoted by in the review of "The Drawings of Henri Matisse" exhibit at Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art, by Theodore F Wolff in The Christian Science Monitor (1985-03-25)

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.

As quoted by Theodore F Wolff in The Christian Science Monitor (1985-03-25)