Still Life with Pascal’s
On View In:
Gallery 377
Artist:   Henri Matisse  
Title:   Still Life with Pascal’s "Pensées"  
Date:   1924  
Medium:   Oil on canvas  
Dimensions:   19 1/4 x 25 1/8 in. (48.9 x 63.82 cm) (sight) 29 1/2 x 35 1/2 x 3 in. (74.93 x 90.17 x 7.62 cm) (outer frame)  
Credit Line:   Gift of Ruth and Bruce Dayton  
Location:   Gallery 377  

If Matisse’s still-life paintings from his early years in Nice are less abstract than those produced prior to and during World War I, they are more evocative. In fact, still-life became the perfect vehicle enabling Matisse to explore the role of ornament in his paintings as well as the wider role of decorative design central to Matisse’s painting at this time. Still Life with Pascal’s Pensées relates to several pictures that represent a section or corner of a room in which vases or Chinese ginger jars contain bouquets of anemones. The vibrant yet flat colors of these flowers became a leitmotif which energizes the surrounding space. The finished painting is a particularly concise and felicitous composition in which one of the classics of French literature features prominently.

Name:   Matisse, Henri  
Nationality:   French  
Life Dates:   French, 1869 - 1954  

Object Description  
Classification:   Paintings  
Creation Place:   Europe, France, , ,  
Accession #:   2010.37  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts