Henri Matisse - Seville Still Life 1911

Henri Matisse - Seville Still Life 1911
Seville Still Life
1911 90x117cm oil/canvas
State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia

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From the State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia:
Like "Spanish Still Life", also in the Hermitage, this work was painted in Spain, which the artist visited in October 1910. Matisse worked on these compositions in his hotel room in Seville, and we can identify its characteristic interior in both works - the furniture and the items on the table, the pot with the geranium and the two ewers. But the artist transforms the room with Spanish shawls, sets the canvas off in a complex and engrossing play of line and colour, making it resonate with decorative and emotional notes. The atmosphere of southern exoticism in "Seville Still Life" is perfectly expressed in the whimsical ornament of the emerald sofa, which includes flowers and birds, the bright flowering geranium, the small dark pattern of the yellow shawl on the chair, the contrasts and exchanges between intense areas of colour and inventive ornament. Everything reinforces the suffocating garishness of the interior, but here the light green curtain introduces a hint of a breath of fresh air and makes the unseen window almost tangible.