Modern Masters Episode 2: Matisse - The King of Colour

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Modern Masters Episode 2: Henri Matisse - The King of Colour (BBC Documentary)
"With colour one obtains an energy that seems to stem from witchcraft."

Henri Matisse. Woman with a Hat, 1905. San Fra...
Henri Matisse. Woman with a Hat, 1905. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Henri Matisse

Tracing the biography of this fascinating artist, and travelling through France, America and Russia, the programme explores some of the painter's greatest works. Sooke explains why Matisse's art is considered so great and also looks at how Matisse's brilliant use of colour and simplification of form continues to inspire illustrators, designers and of course artists today.

Acknowledging the debt the famous couturier Yves St Laurent owed the painter, Sooke also talks to British designers Sir Paul Smith and Tricia Guild about their passion for Matisse, he travels to Utrecht to discover how even children's character Miffy the rabbit owes its origin to art, and reveals how logos and images as diverse as Apple's iPod advertising and even the 2012 Olympic logo are inspired by the modern master.

Born in France in 1869, Matisse was one of the 20th century's most radical artists and one whose genius was something of a "quiet storm". While other Modern Masters were skilled self-publicists, Matisse's lower profile meant that critical acclaim took a little longer to appear.

He pioneered a revolutionary use of colour and form and dispensed with traditional art techniques, refusing to accept that colour must reflect the real world. Today, his work still inspires many influential image-makers, including advertisers and cartoonists, as well as fashion and interior designers.

List of works by Henri Matisse
The Window by Henri Matisse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Four artists who changed our world
The life and enduring influence of Matisse, Picasso, Dali and Warhol explained and explored.

Modern Masters is a four-part television series detailing the life and work of four giants of 20th cen
tury art: Henri Matisse; Pablo Picasso; Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol. During the course of the series, presenter and journalist, Alastair Sooke, explores why these artists are considered
so important and examines how their influence can still be seen in our world today.

About Alastair Sooke
Alastair Sooke is an arts journalist and broadcaster. He has written extensively on the arts for the Daily Telegraph and has been a contributor to a number of arts programmes, including The Culture Show on BBC Two.

He has interviewed many of the most celebrated artists in the world, including Anthony Caro, Gilbert & George, Antony Gormley, Richard Hamilton, Anish Kapoor, Jeff Koons, Steve McQueen, Yoko Ono and Richard Serra. He was educated at Christ Church, Oxford and the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.

Woman Reading, Oil on canvas. In the Cone coll...
Woman Reading, Oil on canvas. In the Cone collection of the Museum of Modern Art, Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Henri Matisse's Grave in Nice Fran├žai...
Henri Matisse's Grave in Nice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)