Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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MATIS, Francisco Javier (mah'-tis), Colombian painter and naturalist, born in Guaduas in 1774 ; died in Bogota in 1851. He received a limited education, but early showed great talent for drawing, and in 1792 went to Bogota, where he found instruction in his art, and soon became an excellent painter, especially of natural objects. This attracted the attention of the naturalist Jose Celestino Mutis, who employed him in his botanical expedition as an artist, and afterward taught him natural history. After Mutis's death Matis was employed by the viceroy to continue the scientist's work, and was made director of the expedition, which post he retained after the 'establishment of independence. He formed an efficient staff to continue the work, but never entirely overcame the want of a literary education in his youth, and wrote nothing.
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