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There are certain names (Pablo Picasso among them) that have become synonymous with modern art, but none have been as closely tied to the sensual pleasures of color as Henri Matisse (1869–1954). A friend and friendly rival of Picasso, Matisse’s art was the temperamental opposite of the Spanish painter’s. Whereas Picasso’s paintings and sculptures were about angles and the shock of the new (at least during his Cubist period), Matisse’s work was about sinuous curves rooted in the traditions of figurative art. Originally educated as a lawyer, Matisse took painting classes while working as a law clerk, eventually becoming a full-time artist. Over the course of his career, he produced some of the greatest masterpieces of the 20th century. These included sculptures and ceramics, but in the minds of most people, Matisse will always be identified with his paintings. While his stylistic shifts weren’t as pronounced as Picasso’s, his art underwent a considerable evolution as the century progressed. Yet it always focused on the beguiling pleasures of pigment and hue. “I am not a revolutionary by principle,” he once said. “What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter…a soothing, calming influence on the mind, something like a good armchair.” Although such sentiments seem antithetical to the sturm und drang of modernism, Matisse was radical in his own way, as these ten vivid Matisse paintings suggest.