The Pewter Jug (1917) by Henri Matisse

The Pewter Jug - Henri Matisse - 1917

Artwork Information

TitleThe Pewter Jug
ArtistHenri Matisse

About The Pewter Jug

“The Pewter Jug,” a still life artwork by Henri Matisse, dating back to 1917, presents an example of the artist’s interest in form and color. The artwork depicts a scene arranged with a pewter jug, a glass containing a liquid, and two brightly colored fruits resting on a plate, which could be an orange and a lemon. These objects are placed on a table surface, and behind them, a drapery in tones of pink and dark purple frames the composition, creating depth through contrast and the interplay of shadows.

The composition of the artwork is characterized by the juxtaposition of everyday objects set against a backdrop of drapery. Matisse’s use of bold colors, such as the yellow and orange of the fruits, stands out against the more muted tones of the pewter jug and the table. The attention to the jug’s reflective surface and its detailed pattern demonstrates Matisse’s skill in rendering texture and light. The dark background and the folds of the fabric add to the sense of volume and three-dimensionality in the otherwise two-dimensional medium. Matisse’s work during this period often explored the boundaries between objects and their environments, and “The Pewter Jug” is an illustration of how he used color and form to achieve this exploration, making it a quintessential piece of his still life oeuvre from that era.

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