From the State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia:
Matisse rented a house at Issy-les-Moulineaux near Paris, where he produced this painting. In the garden near the house Matisse built himself a spacious, light studio, and it was here that he painted such large Hermitage canvases as "Conversation" (the window in the picture looks out over the studio), "The Dance and Music". The wall of the studio forms the background to the still life, and can be seen in a number of works from this period. Matisse liked to introduce his own works into his compositions, as here with the pink statuette of the woman leaning on her elbows. Matisse valued the statuette highly and included it in several paintings. Although it remained clearly recognisable on each occasion, he changed the colour, now accentuating the twists of the female form, now calming them and subjugating them to the individual canvas. Like the ewer and small jug, the flexible stem of the nasturtium and the bowl, the statuette becomes not simply a real object, but an object specific to this composition. The waving lines of the pink sculpture in the centre of the painting, like the ewer, are intensively worked up in colour, determining the dynamic rhythms of the still life, while the horizontal-vertical articulation of the walls introduces clarity and calm.