From Hermitage, St. Petersburg:
In 1901, the year in which this work was painted, a retrospective exhibition was held in Paris of the work of van Gogh, who had died in 1890. The exhibition was to have an important influence on young artists and the colouring in this painting may owe some debt to a visit to the exhibition. Matisse's development in this direction, however, was already predetermined by his unique gift for colour. The pure colour in the still life is intense and rich. The deep and complexe lilac-violet, the powerful ring of the orange jug, which seemes to have absorbed the heat of the sun; the yellow lemon in the cold shade and the bright red handle, the colour of the latter seeming to find confirmation not only in the ripe tomato but in the whole painterly construction of the canvas.