Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

This still life attests to Matisse’s admiration of Cézanne, and particularly of his manipulation of spatial relationships. It contains many of the objects typically found in Cézanne’s still lifes, and replicates his signature rupture of planar space and presentation of objects that seem unmoored and inconsistently dimensional. Recent technical examination reveals that Matisse adjusted and changed the main color oppositions of background and tabletop, eventually choosing gray and blue, as he did frequently during this period of his career. Evidence of his previous experimentations with color, especially a reddish-brown hue, is visible in the valleys of the large drying cracks that can be seen throughout. Many of Matisse’s paintings from this era contain these cracks, which occurred when he did not wait for a layer of paint to dry completely before painting over it.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Henri Matisse, French (Cateau-Cambresis, France 1869 - 1954 Nice, France)
Still Life with Apples
Work Type
Persistent Link
Level 1, Room 1220, European Art, 19th–20th century, Collection of Maurice Wertheim, Class of 1906
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Physical Descriptions
Oil on panel
32.8 x 41.1 cm (12 15/16 x 16 3/16 in.)
framed: 52 x 60 x 8.9 cm (20 1/2 x 23 5/8 x 3 1/2 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: l.r.: Henri Matisse
  • inscription: verso, blue chalk, crayon or colored pencil: Ph
  • inscription: verso, red chalk, crayon or colored pencil: 114
  • inscription: verso, blue chalk: 42 [encircled]
  • inscription: verso, black ink: 834
Paul Guillaume, Paris, France, 1925, 1935. By 1930, per caption of photo, Paul Guillaume dining room dated c. 1930, Georgel 2006
Maurice Wertheim, 1937, Bequest to Fogg Art Museum, 1951.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest from the Collection of Maurice Wertheim, Class of 1906
© Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Accession Year
Object Number
Modern and Contemporary Art
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Publication History

Collection Particulière Paul Guillaume, exh. cat., Bernheim-Jeune (Paris, France, 1929)

Waldemar George, La Grande Peinture Contemporaine a la Collection Paul Guillaume, exh. cat., Editions des Arts à Paris (Paris, France, 1929), p. 78, ill. p. 79

Henry McBride, "Matisse in America", Cahiers d'Art, C. Zervos (Paris, France, 1931), vol. VI, no. 5-6, repr. fig. 59

Henri Matisse: exposition organisee au profit de l'Orphelinat des arts, exh. cat., Galerie Georges Petit (Paris, France, 1931), no. 31

Giovanni Scheiwiller, Henri Matisse (Milan, Italy, 1933), repr. pl. 8

Hommage à Paul Guillaume, exh. cat., Petit Palais, Paris (Paris, France, 1935)

Raymond Escholier, Henri Matisse, Henri Floury (Paris, France, 1937), p. 60, repr.

Henri Matisse: Retrospective Exhibition of Paintings, 1898-1939, exh. cat., Pierre Matisse Gallery (New York, NY, 1943), repr. no. 9

Alfred M. Frankfurter, "Today's Collectors: Modern Milestones", Art News (June 1946), vol. XLV, no. 4, p. 64; repr. in b/w p. 29

French Painting since 1870, lent by Maurice Wertheim, Class of 1906, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1946), repr. p. 56

La Peinture Française Depuis 1870: Collection Maurice Wertheim, exh. cat., Tom Taylor (Québec, Canada, 1949), p. 67, repr. p. 68

The Maurice Wertheim Catalogue: Modern French Art-- Monet to Picasso, exh. cat., North Carolina Museum of Art (Raleigh, NC, 1960), repr. p. 23

The Maurice Wertheim Collection: Manet to Picasso, exh. cat., The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Houston, TX, 1962), p. 26, pl. 8

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, exh. cat., Maine State Museum (Augusta, ME, 1972), no. 15, repr.

M. Carra, Tout L'Oeuvre Peint de Matisse, 1904-1928 (Paris, France, 1982), no. 214

Vivien Raynor, "Art: Impressionist Show at the I.B.M. Gallery" [review], The New York Times (New York, NY, April 26, 1985), p. C24

John O'Brian, Degas to Matisse: the Maurice Wertheim Collection, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. and Fogg Art Museum (New York, NY and Cambridge, MA, 1988), no. 29, pp. 120-121, 158, repr. in color p. 121

The Maurice Wertheim Collection and Selected Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings and Drawings in the Fogg Art Museum, exh. cat., Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York, NY, 1990), repr. in color no. 39, p. 109

Pierre Georgel, La Collection Jean Walter et Paul Guillaume (2006), pp. , fig. 3

Stephan Wolohojian and Alvin L. Clark, Jr., Harvard Art Museum/ Handbook, ed. Stephan Wolohojian, Harvard Art Museum (Cambridge, 2008), p. 193, ill.

Gabriel Dunn, "Experimental and Innovative: Matisse Paintings from the Wertheim Collection" (thesis (certificate in conservation), Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, 2012), Unpublished, pp. 1-50 passim

Elizabeth M. Rudy, "Researching the Wertheim Collection at the Harvard Art Museums", Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals (Summer 2014), Vol. 10, No. 3, pp. 301-6

Exhibition History

Collection particulière Paul Guillaume au profit du Musèe du Luxembourg, Galerie Bernheim Jeune, Paris, 06/01/1929 - 06/30/1929

Henri Matisse, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 06/16/1931 - 06/25/1931

Hommage à Paul Guillaume, Petit Palais, Paris, Paris, 05/01/1935 - 05/31/1935

Henri Matisse: Retrospective Exhibition of Paintings, 1898-1939, Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, 02/09/1943 - 02/27/1943

French Painting since 1870 lent by Maurice Wertheim, Class of 1906, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 06/01/1946 - 09/07/1946; National Gallery of Art, Washington, 07/01/1953 - 09/13/1953

La Peinture Française depuis 1870, Musée de la Province de Quebec, 07/12/1949 - 08/07/1949

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 07/01/1952 - 09/14/1952

French Paintings Since 1870 from the Maurice Wertheim Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 06/01/1953 - 09/30/1953

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, 06/15/1957 - 09/15/1957

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, 06/10/1958 - 08/31/1958

The Maurice Wertheim Collection: Modern French Art--Monet to Picasso, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, 06/17/1960 - 09/04/1960

The Maurice Wertheim Collection: Manet to Picasso, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, 06/13/1962 - 09/02/1962

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, 06/20/1963 - 09/01/1963

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, 06/24/1965 - 09/07/1965

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, 09/03/1968 - 09/22/1968

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Montgomery Museum of Art, Montgomery, 06/01/1971 - 09/30/1971

The Maurice Wertheim Collection, Maine State Museum, Augusta, 06/01/1972 - 09/01/1972

Manet to Matisse: The Maurice Wertheim Collection, IBM Gallery of Science and Art, New York, 04/09/1985 - 05/25/1985

The Maurice Wertheim Collection and Selected Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings and Drawings in the Fogg Art Museum, Isetan Department Store, Tokyo, 03/01/1990 - 04/10/1990; Yamaguchi Prefectural Museum of Art, 04/14/1990 - 05/13/1990

Re-View: S427 Impressionist & Postimpressionist Art, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 08/02/2008 - 06/18/2011

32Q: 1220 Wertheim, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

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