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

Site map

Albums Authors Countries Sources Epoches Exibitions Genres
Personages Schools Styles Techniques Themes Types Workshops

Image Use Policy

Unless otherwise noted, images this web site may be used for any purpose without prior permission.

Any material in the public domain found on this web site is not protected by copyright.

We make no representations or warranties with respect to ownership of copyrights in the images, and do not represent others who may claim to be authors or owners of copyright of any of the images, and make no warranties as to the quality of the images.

We shall not be responsible for any loss or expenses resulting from the use of the images, and you release and hold us harmless from all liability arising from such use.

We do not sell art prints, framed posters or reproductions. Ads are shown only to compensate the hosting expenses.