Museum Folkwang
Nature morte aux asphodèles
  • Henri Matisse
  • Nature morte aux asphodèles, 1907

  • Still Life with Asphodels
  • Oil on canvas
  • 116,5 x 89 cm
  • Acquired in 1907 for the Museum Folkwang, Hagen, since 1922 Essen
  • Inv. G 115
  • CommentaryOn a tabletop, surrounded by artfully arranged porcelain, there is a large, dark green jug with a bunch of asphodels. When Matisse painted this still life (probably at the beginning of 1907), two years had passed since his rejection of Pointillism. In the meantime he had joined a group of artists called ›Fauves‹ (›wild animals‹) by the critics, taking on a leading role. His painting, which drew on Gauguin and especially Cézanne, seemed revolutionary, making him a model for other artists in these years of emerging Modernism.
    »A work of art« he wrote in 1908 in his Notes of a Painter, »must carry within itself its complete significance and impose that upon the beholder even before he recognizes the subject matter […] but I immediately understand the sentiment which emerges from it, for it is in the lines, the composition, the color.« In this context, this painting of a collection of different objects from various cultures, intense in color and rhythm, creates a quite different association. Matisse was a passionate collector of Chinese porcelain, Japanese folding screens, Persian carpets and textiles, African statues, North African dishes, traditional jugs and other things. In his ‘Asphodel Still Life’, he staged a complex weave of relations. While he does return to three-dimensional depiction for the everyday ceramics, he places them on a plain table, which for its part stands on a multi-colored carpet. The artifacts ordered on it are framed with a flat, colored background that provides no sense of depth. It is the number and simultaneousness of formal ideas in his construction of the picture that give it its modernism and created the enthusiasm for his work.
    Gottfried Benn wrote a short poem referring to this work, probably in September, 1941, with death in antiquity as theme: »Bouquets – having lost their leaves, /Jugs – as broad as urns, / - Asphodels, / offered for Proserpina –«
  • ProvenanceKünstler
    1907, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris
    10.1907 - 1922, Kauf bei Bernheim-Jeune, Museum Folkwang, Hagen
    1922, Kauf, Museum Folkwang, Essen
  • Obj_Id: 3,395
  • Obj_Internet_S: Highlight
  • Obj_Ownership_S (Verantw):Painting, Sculpture, Media Art
  • Obj_SpareNField01_N (Verantw): 187
  • Obj_Creditline_S: Museum Folkwang, Essen, Gemäldesammlung
  • Obj_Title1_S: Nature morte aux asphodèles
  • Obj_Title2_S: Still Life with Asphodels
  • Obj_PartDescription_S (Titelerg):
  • Obj_SpareMField01_M (Alle Titel): Nature morte aux asphodèles Still Life with Asphodels Nature morte aux asphodèles Stillleben mit Affodillen
  • Obj_Dating_S: 1907
  • Jahr von: 1,907
  • Jahr bis: 1,907
  • Obj_IdentNr_S: G 115
  • Obj_IdentNrSort_S: G 0115
  • Obj_Classification_S (Objtyp): Painting
  • Obj_Crate_S: 116,5 x 89 cm
  • Obj_Material_S: Oil on canvas
  • Obj_Technique_S:
  • Obj_SpareSField01_S (Mat./Tech.): Oil on canvas
  • Obj_AccNote_S (Erwerb): Acquired in 1907 for the Museum Folkwang, Hagen, since 1922 Essen
  • Obj_PermanentLocation_S (Standort):
  • Obj_Condition1_S (Druckerei):
  • Obj_Condition2_S (Auflage):
  • Obj_Subtype_S (Genre):
  • Obj_Rights_S: © Succession H. Matisse / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017
    Photo: Museum Folkwang
Commentary
Artists
Provenance

Künstler
1907, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris
10.1907 - 1922, Kauf bei Bernheim-Jeune, Museum Folkwang, Hagen
1922, Kauf, Museum Folkwang, Essen