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.