Still Life with a Chocolate Pot

Henri Matisse, French, 1869 - 1954

Geography:
Made in France, Europe

Date:
c. 1900

Medium:
Oil on canvas

Dimensions:
18 1/4 x 22 inches (46.3 x 55.9 cm)

Copyright:
© Succession H. Matisse, Paris / Artists Rights Society (RS), New York

Curatorial Department:
Modern and Contemporary Art

Object Location:

* Gallery 172, Modern and Contemporary Art, first floor

Accession Number:
1974-178-35

Credit Line:
The Albert M. Greenfield and Elizabeth M. Greenfield Collection, 1974

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Label:
When Henri Matisse married Amélie Noellie Parayre in January 1898 the couple received a beautiful silver chocolate pot as a wedding present from the French artist Albert Marquet. Many of Matisse's still lifes of this period feature the silver pot, including this lively oil sketch, the earliest work by the artist in the Museum's collection. Matisse paid great attention to the three-dimensionality of the objects, as well as the effects of light and reflection, which imbue the chocolate pot, the orange, and the leather-bound book with a palpable sense of tangibility.

Provenance

With Galerie Druet, Paris, from the artist (fiche Druet no. 1933); sold to Gustave Fayet (1865-1925), Paris and Béziers, October 4, 1906; sold back to Galerie Druet, November 15, 1906 (fiche Druet no. 3327) [1]; sold to Léonce Bernheim, Paris, June 17, 1910. With Galerie Pierre, Paris [2]; with Henriette Gomès, Paris [3]; sold to Albert M. Greenfield (d. 1967) and Elizabeth M. Greenfield (later Mrs. Donald A. Petrie) (d. 2003), Philadelphia, May 16, 1956 [4]; gift to PMA, 1974. 1. On October 4, 1906, Gustave Fayet purchased the five paintings by Matisse exhibited at the Salon d'Automne from October 6 to November 15, 1906, plus five other paintings, including this one, from the Galerie Druet. On November 15, the closing day of the Salon d'Automne, Druet bought back this specific painting (information from Wanda de Guébriant, Archives Matisse, letter of 18 March 2003 in curatorial file). Hilary Spurling (The Unknown Matisse, New York, 1998, p. 460, n. 111) gives the number of paintings purchased by Fayet as eleven, including nine still lifes. Fayet was a major early collector of Matisse and especially Gauguin (see Spurling, pp. 315, 355-6, 369-70). Eugène Druet, owner of Galerie Druet, was an early promoter of Matisse, organizing a major retrospective of the artist's work, including fifty-five paintings, that opened at the gallery on March 19, 1906. 2. The preceding provenance information from Wanda de Guébriant, Archives Matisse (letter of 18 March 2003, in curatorial file). According to Ms. de Guébriant, Mme Gomès provided the Galerie Pierre provenance. Galerie Pierre was established by Pierre Loeb in 1924. 3. Henriette Gomès worked for Pierre Loeb, before she opened her own gallery in 1938. She fled Paris during the Nazi occupation, and her avenue Matignon gallery was seized by the German government as Jewish property. She and her husband were active in the French Resistance (see interview with André Gomès by Maurice Fréchuret, in Le regard d'Henriette: collection Henriette et André Gomès, exhibition catalog, Musée Picasso d'Antibes, 1994, p. 9, 18-19). She reopened the Galerie Henriette at 6 rue du Cirque, Paris, in 1949-50. 4. Copy of dated receipt from Gomès in curatorial file.


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