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)

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