For a while, I’ve been bouncing in my head the idea of a Matisse trend report but I was honestly terrified of the research it might involve. I finished art school close to 8 years ago and I haven’t really been very good at stretching out my history muscles since then. As a student, it’s basically your job to read all the time. As a professional living in the real world (#adulting), reading sometimes takes a back seat from all the emails and deadlines. But I kept getting reminder after reminder every time I opened up my Instagram (okay, maybe I can make time to read more), because the ubiquity of his influence is overwhelming. From t-shirts to pillows with faces, to arabesque nudes shaped in metal and made into jewelry. And not to mention the ever present monstera leaf (right). Matisse is everywhere RN. As I was brushing up on my modern art, I noticed you can’t really talk about Henri Matisse without talking about his Spanish counterpart, Pablo Picasso; and then it hit me. So much of what I thought was Matisse-inspired was in fact, Picasso-inspired—and sometimes it was both, because the two masters were so influential to each other as friends filled with admiration and as rivals, challenging the other repeatedly over the course of decades. We have Gertrude Stein (here, as painted by Picasso) to thank for this most epic of frenemies as she introduced the masters in 1906 and, in pitting them against each other, arguably served as the catalyst for the two defining artistic bodies of work of the 20th century, and—as you can see below—beyond. If you’re interested in reading more about this Britney & Christina of modern art, check out this documentary (in French with Spanish subtitles), this Vanity Fair article or this post on the Tate Modern’s blog from around the time of Matisse’s 2014 “Cut-Outs” exhibition held at said museum, which I think catapulted all of the current Matisse-mania after it made its way to the MoMA in 2015.