In 1904 Matisse had his first solo exhibition at Ambroise Vollard's gallery. It wasn't very well-received. In the summer of 1904 Matisse traveled to San Tropez where use of bright colors became a part of his style. He traveled again in 1905 to the south to work with André Derain at Collioure. He wasn't as prone to using pointilism as before and flat shapes and lines became a dominant feature of his work.
At the first exhibit of a gathering of Fauves (see below) Matisse showed Open Window (paragraph above) and Woman with a Hat (left). By this time Matisse had found a group of like-minded artists who weren't too concerned about portraying the normal colors of a subject. Siblings Getrude and Leo Stein bought Woman with a Hat giving Matisse much needed money and improved his disposition. Matisse found himself a leader amongst the Fauves.
In 1906 Matisse met Pablo Picasso. Matisse was 36 and Picasso was 24. The two became life-long friends and rivals. They are often compared with each other, however, while Matisse generally took his inspirations from nature, Picasso was more inclined to find inspiration within his own imagination. The pair were first brought together at the salon of Gertrude Stein and her partner Alice B Toklas. Stein and her brothers became collectors of Matisse's work.
By 1907 Matisse was recieving both critical acclaim and terrible reviews. This made it difficult to make ends meet. His painting Nu bleu was actually burned in effigy in Chicago in 1913. The Dance (left) was created for his long-time friend, Russian Sergei Shchukin and is now displayed in the Hermitage in St Peterburg, Russia.
In 1912 and 1913 Matisse traveled to Moracco where again his style was influenced by his surroundings. Around this time he began using black as a color and intense, unmodulated color as evidenced in L'Atelier Rouge (left). Many of Matisse's best and most well-known paintings were created between 1906 and 1917.