Matisse painted this still life sometime between late 1905 and the beginning of 1906, when he still retained Neo-Impressionist blocks of color but also began to construct his pictures with flatter areas of color. With rhythmic brushstrokes, Matisse rendered space and objects alike in flat color planes. The green, white, and blue plate, the round red pitcher, and the yellow coffeepot are typical of pottery produced in the south of France. Similarly, the vegetables look as if they had just tumbled out of Matisse's shopping basket after a trip to the local market.
Inscription: Signed (lower left): Henri-Matisse
[possibly Bernheim-Jeune, Paris]; Professor Heinz Braun, Breslau (probably by 1922–26; sold on December 16, 1926 to Thannhauser); [Moderne Galerie/Thannhauser, Munich and Lucerne, 1926–27; stock no. 1119, sold on August 19, 1927 to Reinhardt]; [Reinhardt Galleries, New York, 1927–at least 1932]; Carl Hamilton, United States (until 1934; sale, Rains Auction Rooms, New York, April 6, 1934, no. 64, as "Still Life," for $2,000); Josef von Sternberg, Los Angeles and Weehawken, N. J. (by 1943–49; his sale, Parke Bernet Galleries, New York, November 22, 1949, no. 87, as "Les Concombres," 1907, for $2,550, to Miller); Mr. and Mrs. Max Miller, United States (1949–at least 1953); Mrs. Geoffrey Bennett, New York (until 1970; sale, Sotheby's, London, April 15, 1970, no. 49, as "Les Concombres," 1907, to private collection, San Diego); private collection, San Diego (1970–77; on extended loan to the San Diego Fine Arts Gallery, 1974-77; sale, Sotheby's, London, June 27, 1977, no. 26, as "Les Concombres," 1907, to Gelman); Jacques and Natasha Gelman, Mexico City and New York (1977–his d. 1986); Natasha Gelman, Mexico City and New York (1986–d. 1998; her bequest to MMA)
Troyes. Salon de la Société artistique de l'Aube. September 1906 [possibly this picture; see Ref. Flam 2005].
Berlin. Galerie Thannhauser. "Erste Sonderausstellung in Berlin," January 9–mid-February 1927, no. 152 (as "Stilleben").
Providence. Rhode Island School of Design. "Modern French Art," March 11–31, 1930, no. 23 (as "Still Life," about 1907, lent by Reinhardt Galleries, New York).
Stockton, Calif. Louis Terah Haggin Memorial Galleries. "The Reinhardt Galleries Exhibition," February 5–March 1, 1932, no. 8 (as "Still Life").
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "The Collection of Josef von Sternberg," May 17–September 5, 1943, no. 26 (as "Still Life").
Arts Club of Chicago. "Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings from the Josef von Sternberg Collection," November 1–27, 1946, no. 10 (as "Still Life").
New York. Sidney Janis Gallery. "Les Fauves," November 13–December 23, 1950, no. 31 (as "The Cucumbers," 1907).
Palm Beach, Fl. Society of the Four Arts. "The Art of Henri Matisse," February 6–March 1, 1953, no. 6 (as "Cucumbers," 1905, lent by Mr. and Mrs. Max Miller).
University of California San Diego Art Gallery. "The USCD Collection," April 24–May 16, 1973, unnum. brochure.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection," December 12, 1989–April 1, 1990, unnumbered cat. (p. 73; as "Still Life with Vegetables").
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection," April 19–July 15, 1990, unnumbered cat.
Paris. Centre Georges Pompidou. "Henri Matisse 1904–1917," February 25–June 21, 1993, no. 29 (as "Les concombres").
Martigny. Fondation Pierre Gianadda. "De Matisse à Picasso: Collection Jacques et Natasha Gelman," June 18–November 1, 1994, unnumbered cat. (p. 97; as "Still Life with Vegetables).
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920," February 4–May 6, 2007, no. 127.
Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. "Französische Meisterwerke des 19. Jahrhunderts aus dem Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," June 1–October 7, 2007, unnumbered cat. (p. 255; as "Stillleben" [sic]).
Vienna. Albertina. "Matisse and the Fauves," September 20, 2013–January 12, 2014, no. 39.
Roland Schacht. Henri Matisse. Dresden, 1922, ill. p. 59, calls it "Bananenstilleben" and dates it 1907; locates it in a private collection, Breslau.
Adolphe Basler. Henri Matisse. Junge Kunst series, Vol. 46, Leipzig, 1924, unpaginated, ill., calls it "Stilleben" and dates it 1912.
Adolphe Basler. "Henri Matisse." Der Cicerone 16 (November 6, 1924), ill. p. 1003, as "Stilleben".
"Picasso Painting is Sold for $5,200." New York Times (April 7, 1934), p. 18, notes that this painting sold for $2,000 at the Rains Auction Rooms.
Art at Auction: The Year at Sotheby's & Parke-Bernet, 1969–70. London, 1971, p. 152, ill. p. 168 (color).
Massimo Carrà. L'Opera di Matisse dall rivolta 'fauve' all'intimismo, 1904–1928. Milan, 1971, pp. 89–90, no. 94, ill., dates it 1907.
Art at Auction: The Year at Sotheby Parke Bernet, 1976–77. London, 1977, p. 147, ill. (color).
Lode Seghers. "Mercado de las artes en el extranjero." Goya no. 140–41 (September–December 1977), p. 171, ill.
Lawrence Gowing inTwentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Ed. William S. Lieberman. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, pp. 19–20, calls it one of the earliest Fauve still lifes "in solid color".
Pierre Schneider inTwentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Ed. William S. Lieberman. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, p. 27.
Sabine Rewald inTwentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Ed. William S. Lieberman. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, pp. 72–74, 303, ill. (color and bw), dates it 1905–6; lists Oskar Moll as the first owner of this picture.
Dominique Fourcade and Isabelle Monod-Fontaine. Henri Matisse 1904–1917. Exh. cat., Centre Georges Pompidou. Paris, 1993, pp. 182–83, no. 29, ill. (color), date it summer 1905 or summer 1906; list (Heinz Braun? Oskar Moll?) in the provenance.
Sophie Monneret. Matisse. Paris, 1994, p. 90, no. 71, ill., calls it "Les Concombres" and dates it 1905 or 1906 (?).
Sabine Rewald in "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection 1999–2000." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 58 (Fall 2000), p. 55, ill. (color), dates it 1905–6.
Pierre Schneider. Matisse. Rev. ed. (English ed., 1984). Paris, 2002, ill. p. 231 (color), calls it "Les Concombres" and dates it 1907.
Joséphine Matamoros inMatisse-Derain: Collioure 1905, un été fauve. Exh. cat., Musée départemental d'Art moderne, Céret. [Paris], 2005, pp. 19, 289 n. 43, calls it "Les Concombres," but notes that it actually represents eggplants; discusses it with two other still lifes from the same period (National Gallery of Art, Washington; Baltimore Museum of Art), all depicting local pottery.
Jack Flam inMatisse-Derain: Collioure 1905, un été fauve. Exh. cat., Musée départemental d'Art moderne, Céret. [Paris], 2005, pp. 37, 192, no. 130, ill. (color), dates it summer 1905 or summer 1906, but notes that the palette and execution are closer to 1905; suggests that either this work or a still life in the National Gallery of Art, Washington may have been exhibited at the Salon de la société artistique de l'Aube, Troyes, in September 1906 [Ref. Fourcade and Monod-Fontaine 1993 identify the National Gallery picture as the one exhibited in Troyes].
Rémi Labrusse and Jacqueline Munck. Matisse-Derain: La Vérité du fauvisme. Paris, 2005, pp. 101, 267–68, colorpl. 82, call it "Les Concombres" and date it summer 1905 (summer 1906?); repeat Flam's assertion [Ref. Flam 2005] that this work may been exhibited in Troyes in 1906, adding that Matisse later recalled sending two paintings to Troyes in 1907 [one still life and one view of Notre-Dame] but that one was never returned to him.
Sabine Rewald inThe Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, pp. 170, 233, no. 127, ill. (color and bw), dates it 1905.
Heinz Widauer inMatisse and the Fauves. Ed. Heinz Widauer and Claudine Grammont. Exh. cat., Albertina, Vienna. Cologne, 2013, pp. 84, 322, no. 39, ill. p. 81 (color), dates it 1905–6.