On this episode of Art Institute Essentials Tour, take a closer look at Bathers by a River, started by Henri Matisse in 1909 and completed in 1917. Henri Matisse originally painted this work as a pastoral scene, but over the next decade he transformed it into the cubist-inflected composition seen today. When the painting was acquired by the Art Institute in 1953, Matisse told the museum’s director that he viewed the painting as one of his five most pivotal works.
Henri Émile Benoît Matisse (1869 -1954) was a French artist, known for both his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter.