Henri Émile Benoît Matisse (1869-1954)

Benoît Matisse was an exponent of the Fauvism art movement that developed in France between 1898 and 1908 with the intent to give shape and incisiveness to pure colour and turn it into an evocative and autonomous means of expression. Fauvism can be said to constitute first French contribution to Expressionism.
Colour dominates every composition: bright, violent, lively, bold and savage. Savage like les fauves, wild beasts. The precursors and inspirers of this pictorial movement are said to be post impressionism painters Gauguin and Van Gogh.

The Fauvism movement paved the way for Expressionism, where reality was shaped by the subjective and introspective view of the artist.

H. Matisse, The Red Room, 1908, St. Petersburg, Hermitage Museum.
H. Matisse, Citrons et saxifrages, 1943, Zurich, Rosengart Gallery

beautiful blues, beautiful reds, beautiful yellows – matter to stir the sensual depths in men.
This is the starting point of fauvism: the courage to return to the purity of the means”.
(H. Matisse)

Yellow citrus is one of the subjects that appear most frequently in the works of the French painter.