From Hermitage, St. Petersburg:
After a visit to Algiers in the spring of 1906, Matisse spent the summer in Collioure, a small town in the south of France. The red and black carpet in this still life, painted in Collioure, is clearly the work of folk masters and was brought back from Algiers. Matisse used it as the central motif in a number of works created during this period. Covered with stylised repeating ornament, the bright carpet spreads over almost the whole surface of the canvas. Laying out the fruit and crockery upon it, Matisse sought to "restrain" them in the flattened space, making them purely decorative areas of colour. Only the glass vessel proudly demonstrates its relative independence, its slender form introducing a vertical note into the rectangles which order the canvas.