The freedom and spontaneity of Henri Matisse’s early Fauve compositions gave way to a formal discipline inspired by Cubism around 1913. This influence pervades the Chrysler’s canvas, where a simple still life—a bowl of apples on a pedestal table in front of a curtain or louvered door—achieves a remarkable presence and power though its spare geometry and frontally ordered design. The sweeping arc of the upturned tabletop and its flattened spine and legs lock the composition into a tight, symmetrical design. Despite these formal concerns, the poetry of Matisse’s color prevails. The apples, brilliant in hue, glow magically in their yellow bowl, as if lit from within.



  • Title: Bowl of Apples on a Table
  • Creator: Henri Matisse
  • Date Created: 1916
  • Physical Dimensions: 45 1/4 x 35 1/4 in. (114.9 x 89.5 cm)
  • Credit Line: Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.
  • Rights: © 2014 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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