Henri Matisse

Blue Pot and Lemon

Blue Pot and Lemon
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Henri Matisse
Still Life, Painting, Oil on canvas, 39x46.5 cm
Origin: France, 1897

This is the earliest of all the paintings by Matisse in the Hermitage. Executed in 1897, it allows us to see how his work, albeit for but a short time, reflected the Impressionist view of the world. This makes itself felt in the direct contact with nature and the depiction of the world as a unity of light and colour.

The light softly flowing from the window fills the painting with coloured reflections and the concrete world of objects seems to be in the power of the vibrant light environment. The lemon and the blue pot, by the very nature of their colours and as important elements in the painting, which "support" the composition, could easily have become resonant colour accents, but in Impressionist manner Matisse carefully subordinates colour to light, thus dulling their intensity.

Yet in this small work there is none of the Impressionist fragmentation of surface. Light achieves its colour transformations within the precisely organised space of the painting: the sharp diagonal of the window-ledge and the clear verticals and horizontals of the walls and window make the composition dynamic and yet stable at the same time.

Source of entry: State Museum of New Western Art, Moscow, 1934
Exibition: French Art: 19th - 20th centuries

See also

Henri Matisse - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Henri Matisse (31 December 1869 – 3 November 1954) was a French artist, known for his use of colour and his fluid, brilliant and original draughtsmanship. ...
WebMuseum: Matisse, Henri (-Émile-Benoît)
Provides a detailed overview of Matisse's career and his impact on the world of art.
Henri Matisse
"Henri Matisse was born in 1869, the year the Cutty Sark was launched. The year he died, 1954, the first hydrogen bomb exploded at Bikini Atoll. ...
Henri Matisse - Olga's Gallery
Collection of works of the French artist with biography.

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