From Fondation Beyeler, Switzerland:
The painting offers a view of Matisse’s garden at Issy-les-Moulineaux, where the artist had bought a house for himself and his family in 1909. In 1917, the year he produced this picture, Matisse was becoming ever more abstract, ever more radical in his pictorial compositions – an artistic phase during which the oppressive reality of the First World War may have played a role. Only a few recognizable details are shown – the house, the suggestion of trees and a fountain in the foreground. The garden is essentially represented as a system of interlocking planes, which are bounded by segments of circles. These forms cast shadows on the brownish red ground, lending the painting a strange sense of depth.