Still Life with Books and Candle (1890) by Henri Matisse

Still Life with Books and Candle - Henri Matisse - 1890

Artwork Information

TitleStill Life with Books and Candle
ArtistHenri Matisse
Dimensions38 x 45 cm
Art MovementRealism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Still Life with Books and Candle

The artwork “Still Life with Books and Candle” is a creation of Henri Matisse, dating back to 1890. This piece is rendered in oil on canvas, and it measures 38 by 45 centimeters. Belonging to the Realism art movement, it portrays a still life scene and currently resides in a private collection.

The artwork meticulously captures the palpable textures of assorted books and a candle, entailing an intimist glimpse into a scholarly or contemplative environment. The composition is arrayed on a surface that seems to be covered partially by an ornate cloth. A candlestick with a partially burned candle stands to the left; its wax has dribbled down the sides in solidified streams, perhaps indicating recent use. To the right, there is a pile of books in various bindings and states of wear. One can discern that the books are hefty and venerable from their timeworn covers, captured with a fidelity to how light and shadow play off their surfaces. There appears to be an open and possibly a folded newspaper beneath the books, suggesting an intellectual pursuit or a moment of quiet study that has been momentarily paused. The use of light and shadow as well as the attention to detail affirms the Realist intention to depict the scene with authenticity and earnestness.

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