Henri Matisse was born December 31, 1869, in Le Cateau in northern France. His family worked in the grain business. When Matisse was young he worked as a legal clerk and studied for a law degree in Paris from 1887-1889. When he later took up a postition in a law office, he started taking drawing classes in the mornings, before work.When he was 21, Matisse began painting while recovering from an illness, and his passion for art became stronger.
Matisse moved to Paris for artistic training in 1889. He took instruction from famous, older artists at well-known schools such as the Académie Julian and the École des Beaux-Arts. These schools taught Matisse by getting him to work from live models and copying the works of Old Masters, but Matisse was also exposed to the recent Post-Impressionist work of Paul Cézanne and Vincent van Gogh while living in Paris.
Matisse began to show his work in large group exhibitions in Paris in the mid-1890s where his work received some favorable attention. He travelled to London and to Corsica, and in 1898 he married Amélie Parayre, whom he later had 3 children with.