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26 June, 2013

Henri Matisse
Quotations



"I do not literally paint that table, but the emotion it produces upon me."

"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. "
 
"It has bothered me all my life that I do not paint like everybody else."
 
"I do not literally paint that table, but the emotion it produces upon me."
 
"I don't paint things. I only paint the difference between things."
 
"The means of expression must inevitably flow from the temperament of the artist. He must have the simplicity of of soul that allows him to believe that he has painted only what he has seen. People who consciously stylise and knowingly depart from nature must inevitably depart from truth itself. When he reasons, the artist must of course realise that his picture is an artifice, but when he paints, he must have the feeling that his is copying from nature. And even when he departs from nature, he must remain convinced that he is doing so to convey nature more completely."
 
"I need to paint the body of a woman. Initially I give it grace and charm, but then I have to give it something more. I shall try hard to reinforce the significance of the body by highlighting its most essential lines. At first glance the charm may then be less noticeable, but ultimately it will re-emerge in a new form..."
 
"All art worthy of the name is religious in itself. Whether created by line or by color, it it is not religious, it does not exist. If a work is not religious, it can only be anecdotal or documentary, and then it is not art."
 
"Artists are "useful because they can augment color and design through the richness of their imagination, intensified by their emotion and their reflection of the beauty of nature, just as poets or musicians do."
 
"In order to liberate the grace and naturalness of my model I do many exercises before committing pen to paper. I never strive for vigour; on the contrary, I am like a dancer or a tightrope-walker who begins his day with long hours of loosening-up exercises, so that every part of his body is under his control when he wants to convey his emotions to the public through a series of slow or fast dance movements or through an elegant pirouette."
 
"If the painter is a sensitive one, he will not wish to lose the contribution of the generation that preceded him, for in spite of himself it is a part of him. It is however, necessary that he free himself of it, in order to discover in his turn something new and of fresh inspiration for himself. "Beware the influential master", said Cezanne."
 
"What I dream of is balance, purity and serenity, free from troubling or distracting subject matter, something like a comfortable armchair in which one can rest."
 
"Simplification, organization, expression."
 
"Once my line, inspired by a bloom of its own, has shaped the light of the empty paper without spoiling its bloom of life, I stop."
 
"Exactitude is not truth."
 
"A colorist makes his presence known even in a simple charcoal drawing."
 
"I have always tried to hide my own efforts and wished my works to have the lightness and joyousness of a springtime which never lets anyone suspect the labors it has cost."
 
"I want to recapture the freshness of vision which is characteristic of extreme youth, when all the world is new."
 
"Slow and painful preparation is necessary for the growth of a painter."
 
"There are architectural laws in Cezanne's work that are quite useful for yung painter. He had, among the greatest, the merit of endeavoring, giving to his task of painting its highest mission, to make his colors forces in a picture."
 
"All that is not useful in a picture is detrimental. A work of art must be harmonious in its entirety; for superfluous details would, in the mind of the beholder, encroach upon the essential elements. "
 
"It is through the human figure that I best succeed in expressing the nearly religious feeling that I have towards life. "
 
"I am simply conscious of the forces I am using and I am driven on by an idea that I really only grasp as it grows with the picture."
 
"The residue of another’s expression can never be related to one’s own feeling."
 
"Impressionism is the newspaper of the soul."
 
"What matters most to me? To work with my model until I have it enough in me to be able to improvise, to let my hand run free"
 
"The artist has to look at life as he did when he was a child. If he loses that faculty, he cannot express himself in an original, that is, a personal way. "
 
"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. "
 
"A picture must possess a real power to generate light, and for a long time now I've been conscious of expressing myself through light, or rather in light."
 
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