Blue Still Life (1917) by Henri Matisse

Blue Still Life - Henri Matisse - 1917

Artwork Information

TitleBlue Still Life
ArtistHenri Matisse
Art MovementPost-Impressionism

About Blue Still Life

The artwork titled “Blue Still Life” is a creation of Henri Matisse from the year 1917, which situates itself within the Post-Impressionism art movement. This still life genre piece evokes the signature style and bold experimentation with form and color characteristic of Matisse’s oeuvre during this period.

In the artwork, we observe a vibrantly rendered composition that exudes the artist’s penchant for vivid, non-realistic color and bold patterns. The central focus of this still life is a table draped with a cloth, upon which rests an array of fruit—apples, lemons, and possibly peaches—arranged loosely on a platter. The color palette ranges from deep purples and intense blues to contrasting yellows and reds, creating a dynamic interplay that enlivens the canvas.

Adorning the table as well is a vase overflowing with flowers, adding a vertical element to the composition that counters the horizontality of the fruit arrangement. To the right, a large, ornately decorated urn towers, contributing a sense of grandeur and solidity to the scene. Its presence, along with a smaller, more understated teapot, introduces different shapes and contours, showcasing Matisse’s interest in exploring form.

The background features blocks of contrasting colors and abstract elements, hinting at the spatial ambiguity that Matisse often employed. These patches of color—some muted, some bold—work together to create a sense of depth, albeit a space more imagined than real. The brushwork is loose and expressive, further emphasizing the artist’s departure from strict naturalism towards a more emotion-driven and subjective representation of reality.

This confluence of elements depicted in “Blue Still Life” illustrates the innovative spirit of Post-Impressionism and reflects Henri Matisse’s influential role in steering art towards modernity.

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