© Succession H. Matisse %2F Artists Rights Society %28ARS%29%2C New York
Oil on canvasexpand_more
Gift of Ruth and Bruce Daytonexpand_more 2010.37
If Matisse’s still-life paintings from his early years in Nice are less abstract than those produced prior to and during World War I, they are more evocative. In fact, still-life became the perfect vehicle enabling Matisse to explore the role of ornament in his paintings as well as the wider role of decorative design central to Matisse’s painting at this time. Still Life with Pascal’s Pensées relates to several pictures that represent a section or corner of a room in which vases or Chinese ginger jars contain bouquets of anemones. The vibrant yet flat colors of these flowers became a leitmotif which energizes the surrounding space. The finished painting is a particularly concise and felicitous composition in which one of the classics of French literature features prominently.
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© Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York