“To copy the objects in a still life is nothing.  One must render the emotion they awaken in one.  The emotion is the ensemble, the interrelation of objects, the specific character of every object modified by its relations to the others – all interlaced like a cord or a serpent,” said Matisse. 

He had some very nice things, too.  I’ve seen pictures of them.  The tables are spread out with vases of flowers, with houseplants, figurines, objets d’art, and every manner of cup or vase.  Big tables arranged in various corners of big airy rooms and the reflections from the ceramic surfaces gleam.  You could mentally wander through objects like that like a knight in a medieval forest.  And it really is more than just bric a brac.  It is a kind of civilization in miniature.  Matisse put the history of French life and culture on a tabletop.


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