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Region:London, United Kingdom


In 1896, Matisse, an unknown art student at the time, visited the Australian painter John Russell on the island Belle Île off the coast of Brittany. Russell introduced him to Impressionism and to the work of Vincent van Gogh—who had been a friend of Russell—and gave him a Van Gogh drawing. Matisse's style changed completely; abandoning his earth-coloured palette for bright colours. He later said "Russell was my teacher, and Russell explained colour theory to me." The same year, Matisse exhibited five paintings in the salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Art.

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