From the State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia:
Matisse painted this work in Collioure in the south of France in the summer of 1907. The woman seated on the open terrace is the artist's wife, Amelie. Unlike the Hermitage's "View of Collioure", this work shows no sign of small, fragmentary brushstrokes of pure colour. Everything is simplified to the extreme, the artist building up the composition of large planes of colour outlined with a coloured contour. Like colour, drawing is an important element in the painting and plays an active role in the rhythmic organisation of the picture surface. Giving an energetic outline to the horizontal balustrade, the yachts on the water, the soft hills and comfortable figure of his wife, Matisse creates a world in which we feel both the beat of the pulse of life, and majestic calm. The painting, with its tendency towards clarity and monumentality, seems to already hint at Matisse's coming departure from the Fauvist movement, of which he had been leader for several years.