Henri Matisse

Still Life with Two Vases

Still Life with Two Vases
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Henri Matisse
Still Life, Drawings, Lead pencil, 53x40.8 cm
Origin: France, 1940

Matisse produced numerous images of vases of flowers, and indeed he had a tendency to return repeatedly - both in his graphic works and his paintings - to a small group of favourite objects, who became as it were the heroes of his compositions.

The large Etruscan vase which introduces into the painting what is almost a dancing rhythm with its whimsical contour, is one such hero. Covered with ornament, with its expressive outline, the vase dominates this still life. It enters into a dialogue with the little vase standing on the stool, but the vase retains its independent voice, its smooth line expressing its rounded, clear, precise form. The stool introduces a sense of space with its rhomboid shape, yet overall the sheet is dominated by ornamental rhythmic concerns.

Source of entry: gift of Lydia Delectorskaya, 1968

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