From the Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA:
Matisse developed this painting of what he described as “the terrace of the little cafe of the casbah” in the years following two visits to Morocco, in 1912 and 1913. As he worked on various studies he eliminated details he felt were extraneous to the painting’s overall balance. A balcony with a flowerpot and a mosque behind it are at upper left, at lower left is a still life of vegetables, and to the right is a man wearing a round turban, seen from behind. Matisse’s generous application of black paint helps unify the three sections of the painting across its abstract expanse.