Henri Matisse, rival of Picasso, was one of the ground breaking artists of the last hundred years or so. He was noted for his sculpture and printmaking too.
Having first trained as a lawyer in France, he disappointed his wealthy father by taking up painting.
Meeting Australian artist John Russell in Brittany changed his life. Russell introduced him to impressionism and the work of Van Gogh.
Intensity of colour
Immediately he began to experiment with the use of intense colour, which led him to being one of the forerunners of the Fauvist movement of the early 1900s. From then on, he became ever more experimental, using large blocks of intense colour and increasingly more revolutionary styles. His extraordinary career spanned 50 years.
Astrologically, Matisse was born with expressive Leo on the ascendant, always pretty useful for a creative person who wants to make a mark.
His Moon in Sagittarius in house 5 would add a creative restlessness to his character, always open to new influences, especially from abroad. Nevertheless, with Saturn quite close to the Moon, he would always likely seek practical ways of applying that expression.
However, his ruler, the Sun, is found in Capricorn in house 6. Here is the ambition added to the forceful personality, the determination to apply and establish himself through hard work.
What is more, his Sun is trine a Jupiter Pluto conjunction on his midheaven in Taurus. This adds great practical opportunities and an intense drive to his career aspirations.
The fact that he could turn his hand to more tactile work like sculpture and printmaking is shown by the Capricorn Taurus link up here.
Venus rules Taurus and his Venus is in Aquarius, hinting of his unusual, unique perspective on art. Jupiter, prominently placed and aspected, also rules his house 5 of creativity, which adds further to the mix.
Though his Mercury in Capricorn shows mental astuteness, it is in exact opposition to his Uranus in Cancer in house 12 and square Neptune in Aries in house 9.
I think this indicates much mental agitation and energy, especially with Mars also not far away from Mercury. With Uranus in house 12 and Neptune involved, he might not have been consciously aware of where this agitated energy came from, but it may well have been a bonus for his creativity, inspiration and originality in art.
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