Still Life (Bouquet and Compotier) (1925) by Henri Matisse

Still Life (Bouquet and Compotier) - Henri Matisse - 1925

Artwork Information

TitleStill Life (Bouquet and Compotier)
ArtistHenri Matisse
Art MovementFauvism

About Still Life (Bouquet and Compotier)

Henri Matisse’s “Still Life (Bouquet and Compotier)” is a painting completed in 1925, which notably falls within the Fauvism art movement—a style characterized by its bold, vibrant colors and attention to painterly qualities and strong color over the representational values retained by Impressionism. This artwork falls within the still life genre, a categorization typically given to art depicting inanimate objects.

The artwork presents a lush bouquet of flowers in a dark vase, contrasting sharply against the muted brown background. The blossoms display a vibrant array of hues, with yellows, whites, reds, and hints of pink and green, which may be an indication of Matisse’s Fauvist influence, using color to express emotion rather than to represent reality accurately. The flowers are set beside a compotier—a dish on a pedestal—brimming with oranges, and additional pieces of fruit are scattered on the pale, patterned tablecloth beneath. The composition includes a discernible balance and asymmetry, with the floral arrangement towering above the modestly scaled bowl of fruit.

The space surrounding the central objects is minimally adorned, yet there is a curtain fragment to the right, and a picture frame peeking into the composition, which adds depth and draws attention to the domestic setting of the scene. Matisse’s painting technique can be seen in the loose, almost carefree application of paint, and the non-restrictive use of outlines, giving the impression of a scene captured rapidly, which further intensifies the sense of vibrancy and reflects the artist’s unique perspective on color and form.

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