Influences (Cezanne on Matisse)

Henri Matisse - Apples on a table against a Green Background - 1916 - 115 x 90 cm - 42 x 35 in


In this wonderful tribute to Cezanne.  Matisse shows us what appears to be simple is actually very sophisticated.

There is a great deal going on in this painting , but I will limit my comments to Cezanne’s revolutionary consideration of including time in painting.  He was addressing the problems with perspective and may not be actually thinking in terms of including time, but his solution of allowing the viewer to move is precisely that, as the following generations of artists certainly have embraced.

Now to the painting.  Note how he painted the pedestal as if you are at it’s level.  Now look at the table top, you are now looking down at the fruit.  This would not be possible, unless you move, as we do in our reality, in other words the painting has time!

The viewer is invited to move!

You may also ask yourself is the background a wall or the floor, or both?  Why the vertical lines through the fruit?  Matisse leaves questions open for the viewer’s interpretation, as a master should.

I know, I went beyond limiting my comments to time.

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