Matisse Artist Study

by Jimmie Lanley on March 11, 2010

We’re about halfway finished with our study of Matisse, our artist for the term. There’s no real reason why this term is Matisse except that we had an over-sized Matisse art book on hand.  I just randomly choose artists for us to study. And I think that if you’re trying to begin artist study, it doesn’t really matter where you start. Just choose an artist and plunge in. The artist doesn’t have to tie into your history lessons at all.

matisse artist study reproduction

Sprite has asked me several times why Matisse and Picasso were always painting nudes. So she noticed. Yes, well, I’m not exactly sure myself. (But I ventured a convoluted explanation anyway.) We tend to skip over the nude paintings and sculptures for our daily art narrations. I don’t go so far as to rip out the pages or black them out. We just flip over them and get to a piece that doesn’t cause so much discomfort.

matisse bio notebooking pageBooks

Henri Matisse: Drawing with Scissors (Smart About Art)

I love, love, love this series of books. They are so interesting and full of graphics.

Henri Matisse art spine

CM said to study one artist per term with one painting every one to two weeks. But we do a painting daily.


Artist biography page from History Scribe.


Since Matisse did some of his art by cutting out shapes from painted paper, we chose to do a collage style reproduction. To make it really interesting, Sprite chose one of Matisse’s paintings to reproduce from cut out paper shapes.

matisse artist study reproduction

matisse artist study reproduction

matisse artist study reproduction

Sprite’s is the smaller one on the left. Mine is the larger one on the right. It was a really fun activity, and far more challenging that I imagined.

matisse artist study reproduction

Matisse Reproductions

See how simple artist study is? Actually, you don’t even have to do the notebooking page or the reproduction at all. Just a regular exposure to the artwork of one artist each term is all you need. [By the way, this post compiles many weeks of study, so don’t think that we do this kind of in-depth art study daily.]

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