Basket with Oranges (1913) by Henri Matisse

Basket with Oranges - Henri Matisse - 1913

Artwork Information

TitleBasket with Oranges
ArtistHenri Matisse
Dimensions94 x 83 cm
Art MovementPost-Impressionism

About Basket with Oranges

The artwork titled “Basket with Oranges” was created by Henri Matisse in 1913 and is an exemplar of the Post-Impressionism movement. With dimensions of 94 x 83 cm, this still life offers a vibrant and textured glimpse into the artist’s exploration of color and form.

In the artwork, one observes a basket brimming with oranges, placed atop a tablecloth decorated with a lively floral pattern. The way the fruit is depicted, with leaves still attached, suggests freshness and vitality. The oranges are rendered in various shades, from deep oranges to vibrant yellows, set against the green of the leaves, highlighting Matisse’s use of color to create contrast and depth. The tablecloth’s bright white background is infused with touches of light blue and hints of shadow, which serve to make the floral pattern and the fruit stand out.

The backdrop is minimal but suggestive of a domestic space, incorporating vertical strokes of varying purples, blues, and reds to suggest walls or perhaps draped fabrics. These color blocks juxtapose the roundness of the fruit and the organic shapes of the leaves and flowers. Despite the simplicity of the setting, the placement of color and the bold separation of the foreground from the background result in a dynamic composition.

Matisse’s brushwork is visible, with the painterly application of the oils adding texture to the artwork. The still life, a genre often associated with the observation of everyday objects, is invigorated by Matisse’s innovative approach to color and form. Despite being a representation of common objects, the painting possesses a lively energy that is characteristic of Matisse’s style during this period.

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