Sorry, No Picture! In 1905 a group of artists, brought together by their shared sense of liberation and experiment, developed a radical new style, full of violent colour and bold distortions. Their first public appearance shocked critical opinion so much that they were dubbed Les Fauves (Wild Beasts). Some of the Fauvisms turned to Primitive art which acted as a stimulus for much needed freshness, strength and vitality. Henri Matisse (1869--1954), leading member of Fauves, the oldest of the founding fathers of 20th-Century painting. The most important picture of his long career is The Joy of Life. What makes the picture so revolutionary is its radical simplicity, its "genius of omission": everything that possibly can be, has been left out or stated by implication only. He had strong feelings about only one thing-the act of painting: this to him was an experience so profoundly joyous that he wanted to transmit it to the beholder in all its freshness and immediacy. The purpose of his pictures, he always asserted, was to give pleasure. [MH] {GB}

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