Bowl of Apples on a Table

Henri Matisse
French (1869–1954)
Bowl of Apples on a Table, 1916
Oil on canvas
© 2014 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Henri Matisse always held a strong affinity for the spirited and expressive medium of color. As his career advanced his paintings showed a parallel interest in the elimination of detail and the simplification of line. This still life bears evidence of both stylistic concerns, Despite its modest subject, Bowl of Apples on a Table has a solid, Cubist-inspired presence.

Throughout his career Matisse succeeded in creating an art that was calming as well as beautiful; he called it “a mental soother, something like a good armchair in which to rest from physical fatigue.”