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.
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.