Henri Émile Benoît Matisse (31 December 1869 – 3 November 1954) was a French artist, known for his use of colour and his fluid, brilliant and original draughtsmanship. He was a master draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but excelled primarily as a painter. Matisse is regarded, with Picasso, as the greatest artist of the 20th century. Although he was initially labelled as a Fauve (wild beast), by the 1920s, he was increasingly hailed as an upholder of the classical tradition in French painting. His mastery of the expressive language of colour and drawing, displayed in a body of work spanning over a half-century, won him recognition as a leading figure in modern art. About the turn of the 20th century there were several artists who simultaneously and independently of each other developed a taste for strong color. This liking was derived from the work of Vincent Van Gogh, that of the divisionists (or pointillists), and Paul Gauguin's experience of primitivism in Tahiti. The combination of a primary color scheme with the primitive approach to visual experience, in which simplification and distortion enhance expressiveness, resulted in Fauvism, which initiated the modern movement. The greatest master of modern sophistication, Henri Matisse, learned from the manner in which children draw how to see natural objects in an innocent way, as if perceiving them for the first time. Matisse was the artist who fulfilled the national tradition of French painting in the modern movement. When cubism entered the arena as a new alternative to the art of the past, what entered with it was the analytical, cerebral quality in modern art. Fauvism, on the other hand, represented in its first stage the victory of sensualism, which particularly through color transmitted its message with a strong direct impact. Fauvism developed in the oeuvre of Matisse into a classical art. A balance was achieved between color, expressing light, and form, presenting objects as pure forms in a two-dimensional manner without any illusionism. Henri Matisse was born on Dec. 31, 1869, at Le Cateau-Cambrésis. After the war of 1870-71 his family returned to Bohain-en-Vermandois. Matisse's father was a corn merchant, his mother an amateur painter. He studied law from 1887 to 1891 and then decided to go to Paris and become a painter. He worked under Adolphe William Bouguereau at the Académie Julian in Paris, but he left in 1892 to enter the studio of Gustave Moreau at the École des Beaux-Arts, where he studied until 1897. Moreau was a liberal teacher who did not interfere with the individuality of his pupils, among whom were Georges Rouault, Albert Marquet, Henri Manguin, Charles Camoin, and Jean Puy. Moreau encouraged his students to look at nature and to paint outdoors, as well as to frequent the museums. Matisse copied pictures by Philippe de Champaigne, Nicolas Poussin, and Jean Baptiste Chardin in the Louvre and painted outdoors in Paris. About 1898, under the influence of impressionism, Matisse's palette became lighter, as in his seascapes of Belle-Île and landscapes of Corsica and the Côte d'Azur. Although impressionist in character, these early works of Matisse already show a noticeable emphasis on color and simplified forms. Matisse married in 1898 and visited London in the same year to study the works of J. M. W. Turner on Camille Pissarro's advice. On his return to Paris he attended classes at the Académie Carrière, where he met André Derain. Matisse created his first sculptures in 1899.