The Goldfish Bowl, 1921-22. Henri Matisse. Oil on canvas. Bequest of Scofield Thayer, 1982. © 2019 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
The walls of Matisse's third-floor apartment at 1, place Félix in Nice were covered with the patterned wallpaper seen in the background of this still life. The artist is particularly interested in the role of sunlight as it streams in from the unseen window at right. In some areas, the light seems to dissolve the glass objects on the table. Elsewhere Matisse is more interested in refraction; he takes pains to convey the distortion of the wallpaper pattern as seen through the pale green liquid in the bottle at left.