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Henri Matisse (1869-1954) was the principal artist of the Fauvre group. He was a pupil of the academician Bouguereau and a pupil of Gustave Moreau in whose studio he met Rouault, and Marquet. He began sending paintings to open exhibitions in 1896. In1901 he first met Vlaminck in the company of Derain whom he already knew. In 1910 Matisse saw the exhibition of Near Eastern art at Munich and it is clear that this highly decorative and brilliantly colored art had a deep and lasting influence on him.

Music is one of his most challenging inventions, it remains explicable only in terms of the Dancers that preceded it and the Bathers that were to follow. Originally, to judge from two photographs made while the picture was in progress, the composition was less rigid. In fact the compositional changes may be detected today beneath the final painting. A far cry from the muscular, faceted studio models of ten years before, yet coloristically related, these five figures attest once again to Matisses insistent simplification of a given problem as he worked at it over the years. The evolutionary changes which affect chiefly three figures to the right lead to a bold frontality.