December 31, 2019 marked the 150th anniversary of Henri Matisse's birth, and despite the passage of time, the popularity of this French painter has only increased.

At the beginning of his career, he was one of the precursors of Fauvism (a movement characterized by a palette of saturated colors, thick brushstrokes and simplified, often almost abstract forms) and by the 1920s he had already stood out for his mastery in the expressive language of color and drawing. He was a very prolific painter with a clearly recognizable style that established him as one of the central figures of modern art.

For people like Vincent Van Gogh, it is already common to see his paintings printed on coffee mugs and even on foot wipes placed at the entrance of houses. Along these lines, with Matisse's work it is also increasingly common to see him breaking the barriers of the profession, there, fashion is the most immediate example: today Matisse's line drawings, which portray faces and bodies, are filling and motivating prints. and decorations on all types of clothing.

Shirt and sweatshirt with paintings by Henri Matisse

Its daring color palette has seduced time and time again various figures in the world of fashion. Yves Saint Laurent, inspired by his imagery, dedicated an entire selection to him in his autumn/winter 1981 collection. Vivienne Westwood, Kenzo, Paul Smith and Issey Miyake are some of the designers who have also paid tribute to the Fauve movement. Currently we have seen his creations again in various settings, but even the posters with his paintings are leaning towards their simple lines without the sparkling colors. Brands such as Bimba y Lola, Uterque or Mango are inspired by simple lines and feminine faces.

Not even Covid stopped Matisse in South Korea

As “Henri Matisse: Life and Joy,” a Matisse retrospective exhibition held in Seoul, was coming to a close in April, thousands of visitors came to see the original works of the pioneering French painter and sculptor. “People continued to come to the exhibition despite the spread of the Omicron variant, which began in February. Some 5,000 visitors arrived in a single day towards the end. It received a lot of attention and love,” said director Seo Hyung-won of Gaudium Associates, the cultural content company behind the exhibition.

In fact, Matisse's popularity has been growing here for some time. On the Internet, many websites sell posters, postcards, and canvases of Matisse's works. A quick search on the Naver web portal shows that there are more than 22,000 items currently being sold along with keywords such as "coffee", "interior design" and "living room". After his death in 1954, a large museum with his work was inaugurated in the city of Nice. There you can admire his nudes and paintings of flowers, which are the most in demand in the market. In fact, last year the most expensive painting sold at auction were flowers that had belonged to Ives Sant Laurent and which sold for $US 48 million, a figure that multiplied by three its initial estimate. He also worked in tempera and one of them titled 'La Vis' was sold in 1993 for 14 million dollars.

Tienda Pasquín