Flowers and China (The Capuchin Cress), Henri Matisse
Henri Matisse
Flowers and China (The Capuchin Cress)
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Henri Matisse

Flowers and China (The Capuchin Cress), 1913

93.5 x 82.5 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Inventory Number
SG 1213
Acquired in 1917. Confiscated in 1937. Reacquired in 1962 with means provided by the Frankfurter Sparkasse AG and the Kuratorium Kulturelles Frankfurt
On display, 1st upper level, Modern Art, room 11


About the Work

The nasturtium is actually growing “into the blue”. The ceramic plate above appears to be a green moon. The plant is growing into something that is no longer a three-dimensional space, just colour. Removed from the real world of objects, the luminous blue gains an independent value. This painting is one of the artist’s important early still lifes, in which the surface of the picture is structured purely with decorative elements. Matisse He was one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century.

About the Acquisition

Entrepreneur, art collector and patron Robert von Hirsch (1883–1977) donated this still life to the Städtische Galerie in 1917. In 1937, having been labelled ‘degenerate’, it was confiscated. With the help of the Frankfurter Sparkasse AG (FraSpa) and the Kuratorium Kulturelles Frankfurt (KKF), the painting was repurchased in 1962. The KKF had been founded by citizens of Frankfurt in 1957 to stimulate culture. In 1961 it became a subsidiary of the Polytechnische Gesellschaft (Frankfurt’s oldest civil association, founded in 1816), as the FraSpa had been since 1822.


  • Basic information
  • Focus on Frankfurt
  • Highlights of the Städel Collection
  • Exhibition “Matisse – Bonnard. Long Live Painting!” (2017)

Work Data

Basic Information

Flowers and China (The Capuchin Cress)
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Signiert unten rechts: Henri Matisse

Property and Acquisition

Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
© Succession H. Matisse / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023
Acquired in 1917. Confiscated in 1937. Reacquired in 1962 with means provided by the Frankfurter Sparkasse AG and the Kuratorium Kulturelles Frankfurt

Work Content

Motifs and References

Main Motif


  • 41E still life of miscellaneous objects
  • 41A773 container of ceramics: jar, jug, pot, vase

Research and Discussion


Object History
Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, seit 27. November 1913
[Kunsthandel Georg Caspari, München]
Robert von Hirsch, Frankfurt
als Überweisung des Direktors an die Städtische Galerie [Inv-Nr. SG 277], Frankfurt, 1917
beschlagnahmt als „entartete Kunst“ durch das Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda, 25. August 1937
Verst. durch die Galerie Fischer, Luzern, 30.06.1939 (Los-Nr. 94) an Le Ray Berdeau (1888-1971), New York/West Palm Beach, FL
Slg. Arnold Kirkeby, 1954
Verst. durch Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, 19. November 1958 an Marc Miczne, Rio de Janeiro und Sidney Janis Gallery, New York
verkauft an Galerie Beyeler, Basel, 21. Januar 1959
verkauft an G. David Thompson, Pittsburgh, 1. November 1959
verkauft durch Galerie Beyeler, Basel an die Stadt Frankfurt am Main, 1962 (erworben mit Mitteln der Frankfurter Sparkasse und dem Kuratorium Kulturelles Frankfurt).


Since 2001, the Städel Museum has systematically been researching the provenance of all objects that were acquired during the National Socialist period, or that changed owners or could have changed owners during those years. The basis for this research is the “Washington Declaration”, also known as the “Washington Conference Principles”, formulated at the 1998 “Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets” and the subsequent “Joint Declaration”.

The provenance information is based on the sources researched at the time they were published digitally. However, this information can change at any time when new sources are discovered. Provenance research is therefore a continuous process and one that is updated at regular intervals.

Ideally, the provenance information documents an object’s origins from the time it was created until the date when it found its way into the collection. It contains the following details, provided they are known:

  • the type of acquisition and/or the way the object changed hands
  • the owner's name and place of residence
  • the date on which it changed hands

The successive ownership records are separated from each other by a semicolon.

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