Henri Matisse (1869-1954) was born and raised in the northern area of France whose main industry was textiles. He lived near the city of Bohain, at that time, renowned as a producer of luxury fabrics and supplied fabrics to the top end of the Paris fashion trade. Matisse’s family on his father’s side were weavers. Most probably, this was the birth of his love of textiles.
However, it seems that his home region had no interest in art outside of its textile industry. They seemed to view textiles as just another way to make money, and didn’t consider it art related. Matisse found his home-town milieu artistically suffocating and moved to Paris as soon as he could, which was when he was 20. He later settled in the South of France where he loved the bright colors and warm weather. (Personally, that’s about the only thing I like about L.A.)
You can see in many of his paintings the opulent use of fabric and design. He was also very interested in fashion, including Paris’s high fashion industry. He had a private collection of interesting fabric and clothes that he found in places like thrift stores and flea markets. (I can relate to this.)
The pictures below show how he utilized fabric and design in his paintings.
“I do not literally paint that table, but the emotion it produces upon me.”
Reference: Matisse His Art and His Textiles –the Fabric of Dreams Published by the Royal Academy of Art
Since I wrote this post, I made new curtains for my living room with a more exotic fabric. Matisse lives.